2020 Oates Ends Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon displays the characteristics so typical of Wilagri vineyard, with highly aromatic mulberry and cassis aromas. On the palate the vibrant, mulberry and blackberry flavours are seamlessly wrapped in the fine, tight tannins with added complexity and body from lightly toasted French oak, well integrated from extended barrel maturation. The 2020 has the power to age gracefully for many years, with the velvety fruit to enjoy now.
Erin Larkin – Robert Parker Wine Advocate. 95 points. “The warm and compacted nature of the 2020 season has worked in the favor of this 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon. It has imbued the delicate, fine-boned wine with density and flesh and gives a little more oomph to the characters that spool out through the finish. While this vintage retains the nuanced orange peel/blood plum/pomegranate character that is threaded throughout this vertical, it has an additional stream of supple,red fruit fl avor. The tannins too are more ductile, flexible and pronounced here. Excellent. Drink 2023-2040
Angus Hughson – Wine Pilot. 94 Points “This 2020 single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is beautifully poised and controlled, with a strong regional signature. Blackberry, blackcurrant and gravel aromas are topped by a surge of bay leaf and thyme, fine oak sitting in the background. Strong flavour upfront before tightening up thanks to layered, sinewy tannins and juicy acidity. Elegant, sophisticated and finely balanced, it promises to deliver plenty over the next 15 years..” Drink 2028-2040.
Matthew Jukes – The Buyer, UK. “Cath Oates is a very perceptive winemaker, and this wine is brilliant. While the exterior is somewhat closed and uncommunicative, there is much to discover under the surface. I anticipate this wine opening slowly over a decade to reveal a fabulous work of art. The persistence of flavour and complete control are remarkable. The only downside is that only five barrels were made in 2020.”
Hand harvested in two passes in 2018 from our Wilyabrup vineyard, Wilagri. The fruit is sorted in the vineyard then gently de-stemmed to remove traces of stalk. Whole berries are retained for the first few days of fermentation. The 2018 batches spent between 21 and 28 days in small open top fermenters, with regular pump overs. Fermentation is natural, relying on the indigenous winery and vineyard yeasts. The wine was matured in 30% new French oak puncheons, the balance in 1 and 2 year old barrels, to ensure the oak was well integrated and in balance with the fruit. Following 20 months of gentle oak ageing the wine was bottled without fining.
The 2018 vintage will go down in history as one of Margaret River's greatest. Textbook weather conditions throughout the growing season meant that vines were naturally balanced and required little canopy and crop management. The long, dry and warm summer let grapes ripened steadily and ripeness was achieved slowly and with abundant natural acidity. The absence of any heat spikes and the cool nights have lead to wines with incredible fruit concentration.
CELLARING AND SERVING:
The fine tannins and good acidity levels give the 2018 the ability to reward extended ageing over 10-20 years, where the wine will begin to show the complex secondary tobacco and cedar notes of aged Cabernet Sauvignon. For serving over the next 3-5 years a match with slow cooked game or meat dishes would work well, with the crisp redcurrant flavours and fine tannins acting a foil for the richness of the dish.