2016 Clairault Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2015 to 2016 vintage season in Margaret River was generally warm and dry up to the third week in January 2016. The relatively dry winter combined with a warmer growing season corresponded to vines achieving good shoot lengths and making the transition from vegetative growth to fruiting growth a little earlier than normal; a great feature for fruit quality. Our dry growing season was quenched on 19th March, 2016 with 50mm of rain, enough to wash the dust off the vine leaves, top up the dry soil profiles and carry the vines through to full ripeness. The resulting wines are fragrant with succulent natural acidities, lovely textures and intense aromatic lift.
The fruit is hand harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, so that each berry is just split. This is to ensure minimal berry degradation during the fermentation process and to promote fresh, clean flavour production by our very specifically selected yeast strain. Our ferments are, by industry standards, cool and gentle, allowing slower, more controlled extraction of tannin and flavour. The wine is pumped over three times a day and then judiciously backed off as the wine develops.
This wine was on skins in the fermenter for 14 days, before gentle pressing and barrelling down. The result is clean, pure fruit flavours, boasting supple yet powerful tannin. The wine was aged in 50% new French barriques for 18 months before the wine was removed from barrels, clarified and bottled.
This iconic wine is made from the1976 plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the original Cape Clairault vineyard. It exhibits aromas of violets, black berries and graphite, with hints of ground coffee and plums. A fine boned entry on the palate of structured fruit and oak tannin, with underlying fresh red and blue fruit favours. The finish is pristine, focused and persistent, with yet more floral notes and flavours of cherry glaze and cedar.
95 Points - Wine Companion 2021
"A pleasure to taste a wine that is firmly of its turf. Bouquet garni, lead and pencil shavings intermingle with blackcurrant, sage and mint. Oak guides the flavours long while providing a bit of cedar bristle across the seams. This will settle across the long life ahead. Very fine, pointed, graphite-complex. Compellingly long and highly regional." - Ned Goodwin. Drink to 2032.
GOLD - 95 Points - The Real Review 2020
"A vivacious, expressive bouquet of blackberries, redcurrants, dark chocolate and subtle, spicy oak. Aniseed and charcuterie lurking. Rich, primary berry fruits carry palate weight - generous and open. Structured enough to underwrite a decade or more in the cellar. Terrific winemaking; respect for quality fruit most evident." - Nick Butler
Enjoyed for its freshness now, or cellar up to 20 years for further complexity.