Nocturne SR Cabernet 2021
For this year’s Cabernets, we have again used our own beloved Sheoak Cabernet and added some of our neighbour’s Merlot from the Simpson property, with which we I am lucky enough to share the amazing valley. There’s also a little splash of their Malbec, too. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, I lost hair, and the hair I had left went grey but we got there in the end… Inheritably elegant is how the ‘21 Cabernets should be described: resolved, gentle tannins with lovely, lightly framed red fruits and great length. It quietly asks you to take another sip, to eat some food to share with friends, lovers, co-workers and some dude named Frank.
We started picking Sheoak Cabernet on 7th April. Underwhelming at first, it’s a wine that’s grown in charm but possibly not stature from the start. Instantly perfumed but lightly framed, the wine spent 12 days on skins with a peak fermentation temperature around 28°C. The wine was pressed to tank and settled briefly, before being transferred to a combination of new (20%) and two and three-year-old barrels to undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine was only racked once in this time and, after 14 months in oak, was emptied from barrel. At this juncture we decided the final makeup, which is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 % Merlot and 5% Malbec. These wines were then settled together, clarified and bottled.
While perhaps not a classic for the ages, I think - as Paul Keating said - this is the Cabernet we had to have. It has extreme drinkability and is a luncheon dream. Find me a steak-frites, a noisy restaurant and come on in, the water’s fine. A triumph of medium-bodied epicness, this is a wine so drinkable that light cannot penetrate its core. - Julian Langworthy
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