THE 1997 GROWING SEASON
60% Cabernet Sauvignon
The start of Spring saw above average temperatures which resulted in an early budding of the vines. The vegetative cycle slowed down somewhat following an unexpected frost in mid April and subsequent rainful until the end of the month. From May onwards, the weather became very warm and dry and the summer months were particularly hot, reaching temperatures at times as high as 35°C. The grapes ripened earlier than usual and harvesting was carried out under ideal conditions during the first part of September. The vintage was exceptional in terms of quality (with grapes that had matured perfectly with good concentration and well matured tannins), while quantities were somewhat lower than average due to the small dimensions of the grapes resulting from the dry summer conditions. The grapes were harvested as follows: Merlot: from 1st to 10th September Cabernet Sauvignon: from 10th September – 15 October Sangiovese: from 20th – 25th September The grapes had a level of between 22 and 24 brix at time of harvest.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
Each grape variety was vinified separately and after destemming and crushing, the must was introduced into stainless steel tanks were alchoholic fermentation took place over a period of 7 days and maceration between 10-15 days. On completion of the malolactic fermentation, the wine was transferred into barriques (225 litres) for a total period of about 10 months. After the first six months of ageing, the wine was then blended and reintroduced into the barriques for a further 4 months in barriques before bottling. The wine remained in the bottle for another 3 months before being released from the cellars.
Wine Spectator 85