2019 Margaret River Cabernet Merlot (6 x 750ml), Margaret River by Sandalford Estate, 14.4% Alc/Vol, Tasting Notes: Vintage Whilst the majority of Australia experienced a hot summer with above average temperatures, the southwest corner of WA experienced a relatively mild summer. Temperatures during the harvest period were below average. These milder conditions allowed for a slow ripening pattern for most varieties, resulting in excellent flavour accumulation at time of harvest. All grapes were harvested with an optimum balance of sugar, tannin and flavours. The resulting wines are displaying bright varietal characters with fresh, balanced acidity. Winemakers Comments The grapes were machine harvested during the cool of night in the second week of April. After destemming to static fermenters, the must was inoculated with a selected yeast isolate. The ferments were managed by twice daily pump overs to ensure optimal extraction of colour, flavour and tannins. After suitable extraction, based on taste, the wine was then drained and pressed to tank. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was matured with 25% new French oak and a portion in older French oak barriques, before blending and bottling. Tasting Notes Colour: Deep garnet red Nose: A deep and brooding nose of blackberry and redcurrant fruits, plum, wild mint, mulberry and chocolate box characteristics. The wine evolves and opens up in the glass revealing a real juiciness, along with oak spice, camphor and nutmeg to complement the ripe fruit notes. Palate: Generous, up front sweet fruit flavours of dark berries and plums that are balanced with savoury spice notes of bay leaf, fresh nutmeg and mocha. Medium weight with tight, fine grained tannin, supported by balanced acidity. This provides a lovely balance and a sustained finish to the wine. A wine that drinks well now, but will benefit from medium term cellaring.