Conditions during the 2009 Vintage turned out beautifully for the development of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown on the St Jakobi Vineyard. We had an initial burst of hot weather at the end of January into early February, but after that the weather was remarkably mild. The cooler conditions were just wonderful for the Cabernet flavours to develop.
The Cabernet vines planted in 1978 have been used over the last 20 years or so to blend with Shiraz and Merlot for our WillowBend blend. In the years where vineyard and weather conditions come together to produce Cabernet of stand out quality we bottle a 100% varietal Cabernet under our "Sami" label. 2009 was one of these years!
The "78 Block" Cabernet was harvested on the 10th of March and the fruit brought back to the Dutschke Shed to be crushed into one of our stainless steel fermenters. Wonderful flavour and tannin extraction during the 8-day fermentation suggested that we could keep pressings separate from the free run wine when pressing without compromising the free run wine. The wine was drained from skins and the skins were basket pressed to give one 300 Litre hogshead of Cabernet pressings. The 2009 "stand out" barrel was an easy choice for us as this Single Barrel of Cabernet Pressings was the only one we had. The barrel was a Mercurey Grand Cru French Oak Hogshead purchased new in 2009.
We have bottled the wine just as we found it, unblended, unfined and unfiltered.
At the time of bottling this wine showed a wonderful combination of generous mint and rich red berry fruit characters with an obvious backbone of spicy oak and grape tannins. I'm sure you will be able to enjoy this wine as a younger wine, but I recommend giving it time (at least 12 – 24 months) to soften and complex in the bottle. This wine will also comfortably age and develop for 8-10 years if a more mature wine is preferred. Then just decant and enjoy with good friends.
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