Tasting Note

2012 ‘Cannonball’ Cabernet Sauvignon + Merlot + Petit Verdot

Varieties

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot

Region

Margaret River

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are often blended all around the world of wine. Petit Verdot is a near forgotten cog, a variety of such surreal potency that only a few percent in a blend ultimately change the style. We like it.

The blend is from 3 vineyards in the north of the Margaret River region each having over 20 years vine age. Each individual wine was impressive and showed the extraordinary quality of the 2012 vintage, but the blend had something extra. The 2012 vintage showed excellent tannin ripeness with moderate crops so that fruit flavours had great intensity. We didn’t see overripe or “dead” fruit.

Fermented in open vessels with handplunging, each wine is left on skins post ferment for up to 4 weeks. Approximately 40% was wild ferment. Maturation was in 50% new oak, both barriques and puncheons, all French.

The 2012 Cannonball is opaque and brooding; blackberry, dried sage, fresh car upholstery are some of my favourite things and I can find them in the 2012 Cannonball. However it is the palate that makes this wine memorable: the growling power of a big v-twin engine, almost leonine in its structure with a fruit richness to balance those Cabernet and PV tannins. The structure stretches the fruit over a fine talc-like framework and lengthens the fruit intensity. A perfect wine for slow cooked lamb, speedway or, indeed, drinking.

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