Cabernet is King? Many wine lovers would say so - and we won't disagree. But with our home in the Barossa we could never agree that there is only one King. And Cabernet would happily enough share the throne!
One of the world's great grapes, it is powerful yet fragrant; seriously tannic yet with allure and richness. One complex beastie? Yep!
Rightly famed for its great Shiraz, parts of the Barossa also grow terrific Cabernet. It works at our place! Our single block is on the western slope of what we know as Schoff's Hill, and dominates the view from our kitchen table.
Planted on our prized red loam over limestone (rightly famous in Coonawarra as terra rossa), the small vines produce small crops of small berries - detect a theme here? - that make a wine with anything but small character.
In 2016 we harvested some fruit from the middle/upper section of the block, but also made sure that we picked fruit from the bottom third, where deeper soil and greater moisture means slightly happier, more vigorous vines. These bigger canopies produce fruit with a more distinct varietal signature: hints of dried herbs and tobacco leaf, to complement the red berries of the upper rows.
The resultant wine is complex and fragrant with a rich mid-palate, but an underlying core of tannin.