2005 Reserve Cabernet/Merlot/Cab Franc 1.5 Lt MAGNUM
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 70%
CABERNET FRANC 5%
This was our very first “Reserve Wine” made here at Rickety Gate Estate. It was 2 years in the making; sourcing of 3 varieties to meld together was no simple task. The varieties were gently de-stemmed, fermented and hand plunged, basket pressed and gravity settled then separately aged in new French oak for 14 months. After aging, the wine was blended into one parcel and oak matured for a further 6 months; once again in 100% new French Oak barrels.
Appearance: A very strong and dense colour is immediately evident upon pouring. Strong purples and rich reds are indicative of this wines inherent quality. Definitely glass staining colour.
Aromas: The first impact is of rich and dark berries; strongly cassis in character; background aromas of soft vanillin and also showing a slight char courtesy of the specially selected French Oak.
Palate: A rich berry fruit palate with a powerful structure finishing with great length; seductively smooth fine grained seamless tannins that show the excellent oak to perfection. Loads of flavour and mouth filling texture; very complex and a serious wine for the cellaring enthusiast. Most definitely a wine you will need to age and will be around 10-15 years old before it reaches its peak.
Cellaring Potential: With good cellaring this wine will continue to develop in the bottle for 15 to 20 years.
The season started with a long and coolish lead up that gave the vines a chance to build up intensity and provide a strong depth of flavour; a necessity in any wine but particularly those intended for long bottle maturation; good winter and early spring rains started the season well. A warm January and February followed and most vineyards began to believe that picking would have commenced by the start of, to the middle of March. As has been happening over the last few years there then occurred a cooling off of the weather in March and then medium levels of rainfall started to occur delaying harvest firstly by a few days and then up to a week. Flavours thankfully because of the warm lead in were quite robust, and able to weather this cooling off period and continue their development through to a normal harvest time.
The commencement of April saw a deluge of rain with totals exceeding 200 mm; thankfully most of the fruit had been harvested excepting the later maturing varieties, though these varieties –such as Cabernet Sauvignon- have much thicker skins that enable them to withstand wet weather and with the onset of sunshine complete their development. We are grateful that the sun did decide to shine and the remainder of vintage passed without any more problems.
Fruit colours and intensities are greater than the previous 2 or 3 seasons and at this time the promise is for wines of wonderful promise. Whilst fermentation are still under way, it appears to be a vintage year similar to 1994, where there was an abundance of flavour and a depth of character in the wines that we all hope for.
By John Wade