This vintage was, as far as great Margaret River Cabernet seasons go, perfect. A moderate amount of early-season rainfall and then warm days and cool nights for weeks and weeks. It was a complete Goldilocks harvest and one that will go down in the history books.
The fruit was picked on 16th March, one of the earlier Cabernet parcels picked that year. While tasting the fruit in the vineyard it was clear that there were great flavours and concentration. Once crushed and into tank, the must exhibited the most amazing colour and silky epic tannin, all at once serious yet joyous.
The fruit was simply destemmed and fermented in 4.5-tonne static fermenters. After 12 days on skins and a peak ferment temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius, the wine was pressed to tank and settled briefly, before being transferred to a combination of new (25%) and two-year-old barrels to undergo malolactic conversion. This wine was racked only once in this time and, after 18 months in oak, was emptied from barrel, settled, clarified and bottled.
The Sheoak Vineyard makes expressive, medium-bodied Cabernets. This release is undoubtedly the most serious and best we have made to date. A wine that, if you have the patience, will improve and develop further complexity over the next decade. – Alana & Julian Langworthy