The fruit for this wine was sourced from Cape Mentelle’s vineyards in Margaret River, ranging in age from 16 to 44 years. The soils are predominantly deep sandy loams with high lateritic gravel content over clay. Shoot and leaf removal techniques were used to ensure good fruit exposure to light and to take advantage of the ocean breeze, which flows through the canopy.
Winter provided average rainfall and spring delivered beautiful warm, dry conditions, perfectly setting up vintage 2016. A nice hot start to Summer in January gave good fruit set and crop predictions. A late January unseasonal single rain event delivered adequate soil moisture for full maturity in red varieties.
The fruit is picked by hand and treated with great care in small batches. Destemming varies from 70% to complete and the crushing is light on the way to a combination of open and closed fermenters. The ferments are lead in a combination of 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 80 days - before light basket pressing. Malolactic fermentations take place in barrels and the wine is kept on lees, unsulfured for several months, sometimes stirred when taste demands it. The final blend for this wine was prepared between September and October 2017 before the wine was bottled, unfined and with only a light polishing filtration and minimal sulphur in late November 2017.