2012 André Cabernet Sauvignon
André is named after Dominique Portet’s father, a former vineyard and winery manager at Château Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac. The wine is made only in exceptional vintages and honours the faith and learning on which our 10-generation winemaking heritage is built.
2012 marks the third release of the wine. It comprises 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Pyrenees and Yarra Valley. The Pyrenees fruit is from 40-year-old vines grown on gravel/quartz soils, ideal for elegance and structure. The Yarra fruit comes from 20-year-old vines on soils with more clay and broken rock. It adds mid-palate flesh and cool fruit freshness.
Excellent vintage conditions and carefully tended old vines in two special sites are key to this wine. Winemaking, then, is straightforward. However, our newly installed sorting line helped us achieve greater focus and concentration in 2012 by entirely eliminating green stalks and grapes that were unripe or overripe. We picked the fruit by hand, destemmed and gently crushed it. The wine spent four weeks on skins to develop softness and complexity. It was then aged for 18 months in tight-grained French oak (60% new).
It is a superb wine, starting with the grapes I witnessed coming through the Oscillys, but never dreaming the perfect winemaking that would follow. Blackberry/cassis fruit has absorbed the French oak, and the tannins are magical, firm yet accommodating. The price reflects the quality of the wine.
James Halliday, Wine Companion, 2016