Terre à Terre is proud to present its second release of Cabernet Franc coming from its very unique close-spaced vineyard in Wrattonbully, South Australia.
This vineyard has been baptised the Crayères Vineyard, after the chalk cellars that are found throughout Xavier’s region of birth in Champagne, France. Similar natural structures are found underneath this very special vineyard, and they are now the subject of a research project led by a team from the University of Adelaide as they are full of undisturbed ancient fossilised remains.
The Crayères vineyard is located next to Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard, at the top of a north-south limestone ridge in Wrattonbully, one of Australia’s most exciting regions. The Terra Rossa top-soil is characteristic of the area. This part of the vineyard was planted on rootstocks in 2008, using cuttings from the neighbouring Whalebone Vineyard and French clones, and at a relatively high density for the area (4,444 vines per hectare, similar to the density of vineyards in Saint Emilion). The fruiting wire is only 50cm above ground, which is why the local vignerons call the vines the “low vines”.
The 2015 growing season started early with very good but slow flowering conditions followed by quite warm January and February without any severe heatwaves; however, the weather was very mild from véraison to harvest for our Cabernet Franc with on average 8 weeks between véraison and harvest for all varieties. The Heat Degree Days summation (calculated as the sum of the monthly daily mean minus 10°C for the months of October to April included) was estimated at 1,522 degree days, which is lower than the average for Saint Emilion (1,530 degree days).
The Cabernet Franc came off at the same time as the Cabernet Sauvignon, on the 25th of March 2015. The yields were excellent at 6.91 tonnes per hectare. The Cabernet Franc was all fermented in small 1-tonne tubs, with plunging once a day. 75% of the fruit was fermented with 20% whole bunch fruit and fermented on wild yeasts, and the rest was all destemmed with partially crushed fruit and was seeded with our own yeast culture. The whole fruit and the crushed fruit were pressed off skins as separate batches and racked to 225L French oak. The wild ferment component was aged in old French oak barriques and the crushed fruit was aged in new French for 22 months. After a very light egg fining in barrels, the wine was bottled without filtration late February 2017.
Cabernet Franc is one of the best red varieties in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, and it is probably the best variety in Wrattonbully as well, ahead of merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine shows how well the variety responds to the Saint Emilion like climate, terroir and vineyard design. The wild ferment component boosts the floral and violet aromas of the variety. The palate is very bright blackcurrant and blackberries with very good tannins on the finish, the sign of a very good wine.
In bottle analysis (AWRI): Alcohol = 14.7 % v/v, pH = 3.46, TA = 5.7 g/L, VA = 0.52 g/L
Only 225 dozen were produced.
Winemaker: Xavier Bizot
Tasting note: PDF File