2014 Dominique Portet Cabernet Sauvignon
The grapes came from two Yarra Valley sites, both of which are home to mature vines (20+ years) on soils of sandstone over clay. The first, in Coldstream, is the cooler of the two and gives aromas in the red-fruit spectrum. The second site is at Steels Creek on a warm, steep west-facing slope.
The season began with a cool, wet spring that resulted in smaller-than-average crops and bunch sizes. Late-budding Cabernet Sauvignon was less severely hit, however. We harvested relatively late – in the first week of April – so the grapes enjoyed a fairly mild end to the ripening period, with vital, freshening acidity intact. It added up to deep, intense but balanced wines.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were picked by hand and sorted on our state-of-the-art sorting line. We destemmed and gently crushed the fruit before fermentation. In total the wine spent 25 days on the skins, as we allowed the wine to develop structure and a silky texture while still at peak freshness. It was then aged for 14 months in French oak (40% new).
The understated nose shows brooding purple fruit, graphite and spice. The palate has generous, fresh cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit underlaid with cedar and liquorice. It feels lush and rich in the mouth, but with energy to match the fine tannins and propel the fruit to a long, complex and fragrant finish. It’s just starting to hit its straps now and will really come into its own after a year or two in the cellar.
95 points. Toni Patterson MW, The Real Review