2014 'Margaret' Cabernet Merlot Malbec
New vintage release
Woodlands Wines has just released the new vintage of our ‘Margaret’ Cabernet Merlot Malbec.
2014 was a warm consistent year producing wines of balance. Unfortunately high winds early in Spring reduced the crops of Merlot and Malbec, but our Cabernet Sauvignon survived unscathed. Warm dry conditions until February ripened the Merlot and Malbec to perfection, but from March onwards the conditions cooled somewhat, extending out the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest and enabling more flavour development.
Woodlands ‘Margaret’ is sourced entirely from the Woodlands Vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon portion comes from a slope on the south of Woodlands that wraps around a 90-degree radius from east to north. The fruit on this slope receives a great deal of direct sunlight from morning to mid-afternoon, leading to rich full-bodied wines. The Merlot and Malbec plots that make up the remainder of ‘Margaret’ come from our west-facing slope of deep loam soil. This slope receives the most direct afternoon sunlight at Woodlands, and produces more exotic fruit characters in the finished wine.
This wine was hand picked in small batches from 6th to 24th March. Following harvest, the fruit was destemmed, hand sorted berry by berry, crushed and fermented in small stainless steel fermenters. Following fermentation, the Cabernet Sauvignon portions remained on skins for 28 days for added complexity and tannin integration. Once fermentation was complete this wine was transferred into French barrels where it remained for 18 months. 80% of the barrels were new.
Our 2014 ‘Margaret’ is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 8% Malbec. Bright crimson in colour, the nose is extremely lush and aromatic, displaying a range of red and dark berry fruits combining with toasty French oak notes. The palate is exuberant, dense and concentrated– featuring ripe red and dark berry fruits, succulent middle palate, and plush tannin. A powerhouse of density and flavour, especially considering it’s 13.5% alcohol.
This wine reminds us most of the 2004 vintage. Time will be the judge as to whether this is our finest ‘Margaret’ yet, but at this stage it gets our vote.