Wendouree Cabernet Malbec 1997
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This elegant Clare Valley Cabernet Malbec. 60/40 blend from vines established in 1898.
“This mature dry grown vineyard with substantial plantings of century old vines lies on well draining red-brown chocolaty loams over shale. Yields are minute with very high concentration and seed content. This partly explains the “particularity” of the Wendouree style. The quality of the fruit is outstanding with incredible sugar/acidity/flavour balance. In many respects the Cabernet Malbec is an old fashioned wine, yet it articulates vineyard character and maintains an unbroken continuity of style rarely found on the contemporary wine scene. The Malbec component – which derives from four blocks planted between 1898 and 1960 – provides complexity and interest. This is a profoundly individual wine with intense bright fruit, underlying maturation notes and firm but pronounced vice-like tannins structures.” Andrew Caillard MW, Langtons.
A bit of background … The iconic and historic Wendouree vineyard was planted in the Clare Valley in 1893 and is renowned for its full bodied reds which are often described as “iron fist in a velvet glove”. Minuscule yields from ancient (many untrellised) bush vines of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, mataro and malbec. Stephen George has been winemaker there since 1981 and described the vineyard as “…an incredible place – even in severe drought the vineyard is green when the rest of Clare is irrigating madly – the dry grown vineyard roots have burrowed down so deep over the years to find water and all the trace elements needed..” Andrew Caillard MW commented: “.. the wines are strongly recognisable with the emphasis on fruit power concentration and weight. The tannin structure are tightly knit and incredibly muscular”.
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