2017 'Victor' Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Due to its ability to fill the cordon trellis quickly from planting, our first wine was in 2003 and it was Cabernet Sauvignon. Victor is our first reserve wine, with an inaugural vintage in 2004. It is named after Xavier Marguerite ‘Victor’ de Beaurepaire, the first of our family to leave Burgundy and set us on the journey to Rylstone. Veraison is normally early February, and the grapes are left to develop and ripen for 70 to 80 days with harvest usually around early to mid-April. This long ‘hang-time’ enables the skin tannins to polymerise pre-harvest which gives our cabernet a signature youthful smoothness as well as fruit forward palette. The ripe tannins combined with cool climate acidity give great bottle aging potential. The first Victor (2004) still demonstrates bold fruit flavours and good acidity.
The vineyard is located above Rylstone in the Central Ranges GI of NSW (40km southeast of Mudgee, 70km northeast of Bathurst). It was planted in 1998 by Richard & Janet de Beaurepaire, with a mixture of Bordeaux, Rhône, and Burgundy varieties with the intention of selling most of the grapes whilst organically growing wine production. The decision to plant the vineyard at this location over other established winegrowing regions (including family winemaking operations in the Yarra Valley) was due to the similarity of the terroir to Burgundy – the home of the de Beaurepaire family. The vineyard is in a mountain valley, 150 kilometres from the coast in the Great Dividing Range. It is planted on North facing slopes rising from the Cudgegong River to an altitude of 650m. Geologically, the vineyard is planted on an Ordovician-era (450 MY ago) coral reef with shallow sandy and sandy-loam soils on limestone. The limestone was mined nearby until recently by Kandos Cement. The altitude, distance from ocean and poor heat retention of the soil and limestone, creates an inland continental climate as cool as Central Otago in New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia during the growing season with extreme diurnal variation – late Sept/Oct Budburst, Jan/Feb Veraison and March/April Harvest.
Vintage Conditions: Budburst was 30 September 2016. The season started with very low soil moisture after a very dry winter. A wet middle of the season around and after Veraison in late January recovered yields but the dry weather returned toward harvest. It was overall a relatively cool vintage enabling an extended ripening period balancing out the acidity and flavour, giving great tannin ripeness.
Harvest (yield): Individually selected parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon were handpicked on 5 and 8 April 2016 with a baumé of 13.9. Yield was approximately 10t/ha (~56hl/ha). Sourced from A Block (oldest block in vineyard) with an average age of 18 years at time of harvest.
100% destemmed. Cold soaked for 3 days at 5 degrees. Very slow, gentle press cycles to limit over-extraction. Fermented traditionally on skins in open vats using Bordeaux yeast for 15 days in potter style tanks.
Final maturation was in a mixture of extra fine grained, medium to medium plus toasted new Seguin Moreau (French) hogheads for 17 months. Bottle aged for further 2 years before release. Lightly fined using Egg Whites.
Analysis: pH 3.3, TA 6.9g/l, VA 0.41g/l, RS 0.89g/l
A full bodied, yet elegant cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon with complex aromatics and floral notes. Bold blackcurrant, liquorice and black cherry flavours with subtle earthy and coffee undertones on the palate with fine-grained lengthy tannins, good acidity and a long, sustained finish.
VIN ET GASTRONOMIE
Roasted pork, lamb or beef dishes that capitalise on caramelisation of fats and juices with a sturdy well-made jus (or gravy) will sing ‘hallelujah’! Accompany with the sweetness of quality roasted potato and onions and you will be in epicurean heaven. Wonderful with a rich pâté pre-or post-dinner.
Cellaring Potential: 25-30 years (2042-2047)
Serving Temperature: 17 to 18 degrees C / 63 to 65 degrees F