d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon Museum Release 2014  £46.87

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d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon Museum Release​

A small portion of this wine was been held back at the winery for an extended period in order to be released later and closer to maturity, so you can see where these wines can go with some patience.

Since 1912 the Osborn family have grown grapes and made wine in the picturesque surrounds of McLaren Vale. Today fourth generation family member Chester Osborn is at the winemaking helm, making distinctive wines using traditional methods in the winery and the vineyard.

Coppermine Road runs parallel to the very best Cabernet vineyard in McLaren Vale, just metres from the winery, cellar door and restaurant. Planted to an almost extinct clone, this vineyard rarely yields greater than one tonne to the acre.

A wet winter ensured good sub soil moisture and set up the vines well with healthy canopies. Spring was very dry with above average temperatures, a heavy downpour in January was a welcome relief. Mild conditions during the ripening period produced wines that show an abundance of spicy fruits with great colour, richness and balanced tannins. Vintage started on 30 January, the earliest start on record by one day.

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

2014 was a wonderful vintage, highlighting the attractive fragrance of McLaren Vale Cabernet. The nose has an abundance of violets and purple fruits, paired with a subtle twist of mint. The palate is slick and streamlined. Whilst the mouthfeel is certainly not sweet and blousy, there is no evidence of a donut here, as the seamless line of super chalky tannins and elegant yet intense fruits pass from front palate to finish without deviating off track. More of those wonderful purple fruits, cassis and violets, along with additional notes of baked capsicum and tobacco towards the tail. Youthful, energetic and pure at 3 to 4 years old, with time the tannins will be tempered, tautness through the mid-palate will relax and the abundance of primary fruits will be given depth with a second raft of dried fruits and cedary characters. Classy.

While enjoyable in youth, this wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity and providing immense interest. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.°C.

94 Points James Halliday

Crushed and destemmed, open-fermented with heading down boards, 2-3 weeks on skins, matured for 18 months in French oak (7% new). A powerful cabernet with pronounced tannins woven throughout the black fruits of the full-bodied palate; has depth and length, and the balance to benefit from extended cellaring.

James Halliday