2016 Gladstones Cabernet Sauvignon
The Houghton Gladstones Cabernet Sauvignon honours renowned viticulturist and long time supporter of Houghton, Dr John Gladstones. In 1965 John published a scientific paper identifying the suitability of the Margaret River region to produce premium wine grapes. His importance as a viticultural researcher was recognised in 2008 when he received the Maurice O'Shea award for outstanding contribution to the wine industry.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine are from a single vineyard grown in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River. Sourced from the 28 year old dry grown Batley vineyard, the fruit contributes to producing wines of structure, intensity and classical Cabernet Sauvignon fruit characters.
The 2016 vintage in Margaret River was characterised by warm to hot and dry conditions. The lower than average rainfall experienced in the preceding winter and spring meant flavour development and physiological ripening was earlier than normal.
Fruit for this wine was hand picked to maximise quality and allow hand sorting of the fruit. This ensured only the highest quality grapes were permitted into the fermenter. Fermentation was undertaken in small open top fermenters with indigenous yeasts and lasted for 10 days. The wine was then gently pressed off skins in a basket press to tank and briefly allowed to settle before transfer to French oak for malolactic fermentation. The wine then spent a further 13 months maturating in new, 1 year and 2 year old French oak barriques. At the end of maturation the wine was lightly fined before filtration and preparation for bottle. This is a small volume wine that was handled separately through its life and speaks of the single vineyard site where the grapes were grown.
Brilliant, dark red in appearance with tinges of purple, this wine displays bright aromatics of ripe plum fruits, cigar box , bay leaf and dried herbs with hints of coffee grounds and subtle vanillin spice. A medium to full bodied wine showing classic varietal characters of cassis, plum and tobacco. The rich and dense fruit are balanced by ample fine grained tannins providing structure and the backbone for longevity. An exceptional wine with outstanding structure, flavour and complexity that has the balance and poise to age for up to 15 years and beyond.