2015 featured generous winter and spring rainfall, leading us to hope for a bountiful harvest. However, high winds at flowering led to very low crops of Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. But of all the Woodlands Vineyards, the ‘Margaret’ Cabernet Sauvignon hill was hit worst – resulting in the loss of half the production. There were warm sunny conditions and little rain from November until mid-March, leading to wonderful flavour development of the fruit that survived. Our 2015 ‘Margaret’ contains a minerality and structure that reminds us of 2005.
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 11th to 27th 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 ferments remained on skins for an average of 24 days. Once pressed, the wine was transferred into new French barrels where it remained for 18 months.