THE GOLDEN YEAR
The 2018 vintage had the region abuzz with excitement and is widely touted as being one of our best seasons on record. Winemaker and Winery Manager, Travis Lemm, dives a little deeper into how the stars aligned to produce some of Margaret River's most exceptional Cabernet.
“You will not find many producers in Margaret River that don’t consider the 2018 vintage extraordinary!
We had early budburst across the region and a warm November, before experiencing some wet conditions in December that bolstered soil moisture. From there, the season progressed steadily, enabling quite slow ripening across varieties. Highly advantageous, as the fruit flavours accumulate nicely without an acceleration in overall sugar levels, which leads to perfect balance!
Through March and early April, we had amazingly sunny days and cool nights, which held the acidity in the grapes, concentrated flavours, and developed perfect tannins in our Cabernet Sauvignon.
There was no rush to harvest. We tasted early tannin ripeness in the fruit and then had the luxury to wait until we considered the flavour concentrations to be at their peak before picking. In the winery, all the ferments behaved as the fruit was in stunning condition. We progressed to some extended skin contact on a couple of parcels from North Block, which allowed more extraction of soft powdery tannins in the wines.
This was the type of season where we looked at the wines and knew they were going to be special. For me, if the balance of fruit concentration and tannin is there at six months of age in barrel, the wine is going to be exceptionally strong.
Blending our 2018 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 MJW Cabernet Sauvignon was an easy process. Old Block, North Block and their relevant parcels had the perfect fruit structure and tannin depth.
The MJW Cabernet is crafted to retain delicacy and purity, so the 2018 release is more dominant in Old Block which has a rich fruit profile. By comparison, our Voyager Estate Cabernet is our legacy in a glass, possessing tannin definition supported by classic cassis, so it holds more North Block fruit at its core.
Overall, it was a fantastic season, and the results are in the glass! Both these Cabernets express elegance, power and stunning fruit character, reflective of a truly standout year in the history of Margaret River."