2017 Clairault Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
The nature of the 2016 to 2017 vintage enjoyed accumulated warmth up until early new year. January temperatures were similar to historical data for the area, in contrast, February and March were a fraction cooler. Those who risked all by waiting for the Indian Summer, were rewarded with tannin ripeness and the retention of the most beautiful fruit perfumes at relatively low sugar levels. The 2017 vintage highlighted the importance of best practice vineyard management, focusing on the basics of open and well solarised canopies, with balanced crop loads, so that the fruit could ripen at a reasonable pace.
The Cabernet Sauvignon portion of the blend is de-stemmed and crushed, so that each berry is just split. This is to ensure minimal berry degradation during the fermentation process. Our Merlot is crushed as to fully expose the delicate flesh and promote a more refined and elegant textural development. 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 French oak for 10 months bottling.
A classic Margaret River blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. This wine has vibrant aromas of red cherries, black berries, chocolate and ground coffee. Fine cherry skin tannins palate on the entry, dappled with red fruits and cacao nib. A dense and coating palate follows, with black berries and potpourri on the finish.
92/100 - James Halliday Wine Companion
Silver - Wine Show of Western Australia
Up to 8 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.