The fruit comes from our Trinders and Crossroads vineyards with the malbec sourced from a premium grower partner in Wilyabrup. The typical soils of these vineyards are geologically ancient, free draining sandy loams with a high percentage of lateritic gravel. This blend came from three exceptional parcels that simply demanded to be kept separate, and be unified in our best blended expression of 2017
The preceding winter gave healthy rains, replenishing soil moisture levels which led into a milder spring with the lowest average degree days ever recorded (least heat seen for a growing season). Flowering in all varieties was delayed by 10 days compared to the 2016 season, with wonderful sunshine giving excellent set (fruitful flowers into berries) and thus great crop potential across all varieties. With a mild summer, punctuated by only a few hot days (over 30C), veraison (colouring and softening of berries) in early February came three weeks later than 2016 (mid January) and picking for the reds was quite late; 10th of April for Malbec, 21st April for the Trinders Merlot and 9th of May for the Petit Verdot
The fruit is 100% destemmed and lightly crushed to closed top fermenters of between 120kg to 2.5 tons capacity. The ferments proceed with wild and selected yeasts and operations are decided day by day without recipe to optimize potential and complexity. Post fermentation macerations are long -up to 120 days- to develop silky tannin structures before light basket pressing. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barriques (50% new), the wine aged on lees (yeast sediment) for 16 months and then blended and bottled
14.5% alcohol, 5.8 g/l total acidity, 3.65 pH
54/26/20% merlot/petit verdot/ malbec. On skins for 54 days, basket pressed with pressings added back, left on ferment lees for 18 months in French barriques (50% new). Dark and dense with secondary characters already forming on the palate. This has leather strapping and exotic spice, putting one in mind of a Bordeaux blend rather than Margaret River. There's a charcuterie/sausage character through the finish. Very attractive and quite unexpected. Will age prodigiously.