The grapes for this wine come largely from a near extinct clone of Cabernet Sauvignon.
This unnamed clone yields no more than one tonne per acre because of its very poor setting ability and the tiny size of its berries. However, the quality of the grapes is far superior, with wonderful violet and black currant aromas, great acidity and long, intense fine- grain tannins.
This wine gathers its name from a road nearby d’Arenbe
rg, Coppermine Road that runs parallel to our very best
Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.
The d’Arenberg Cabernet
Sauvignon vineyards are planted on soils of either shallow grey loam over marley limestone clay or hard red earth over limestone. These top soils suit this clone and produce big wines with substantial fragrance while the Marley limestone underneath serves to reduce vigour in the
vine. As this clone retains its acidity longer than other clones we are able to leave the fruit hanging on the vines longer. These parcels of fruit that we leave on the vine are able to develop more intense flavours without risking a drop in acidity. The plentiful chalky tannins are fragrant with the aromas suggesting more violet characters than musk as seen in many modern clones of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Vintage 2005 could be summarised as a vintage that ripened without
interruptions. After a slightly dry winter, spring rains in November sent
vines booming and set up a quick condensed flowering and fruit set with
good berry numbers. Summer was cool with intermitted rains throughout
December and January on a fortnightly basis which made for a mild but
steady lead up to harvest with out interrupting veraison. Vigour was
nominal due to only moderate reserves of soil moisture from a relatively
dry winter which restricted shoot length. With the onset of autumn we experienced a burst of warm to hot, dry weather with above average day and night time temperatures throug hout March, April and May which secured an early intake of fruit than normal. The resulting wines are very tight wines, with very good red fruitfragrance and lovely acidity. Crops were above average although slightly under 2004. Each batch of fruit received is gently crushed in our Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber-toothed crusher so as many of the berries as possible remain whole then transferred to open fermenters where the must of seeds and skins are permanently submerged beneath the free run juice. The must received no plunging or pumping over while fermenting occurs. Once the primary fermentation is two-thirds complete, traditional foot-treading takes place prior to basket-pressing. The wine is then transferred to barrel to complete its primary and secondary fermentation. Only the barrels from the best batches are selected after 18 months for the final blend.
The Characteristics This wine has a deep, dark, vibrant black appearance
suggesting a full-bodied dry red. The aroma is dense
and complex with a mix of fruit and oak but dominated with an intense mix of blackcurrants, cassis, blueberries, coffee and dark chocolate.
The palate is complex and compressed with a mix of dark black fruits, violets, cassis and red currant notes mixed with edges of dried herb. The integration of fruit, tannins and oak is superb for such a young wine. As it open there is a more obvious mix of red/black fruits and earthy characters
working with gritty tannins and minerals particularly on the fini
sh which is balanced with lovely lacy acidity. This just adds to the
drinkability of this wine and shows the overa ll elegance of this quite wonderful vintage. The Cellaring Potential With bottle age, the wine will become more harmonious and gain more complex characters of chocolate, truffle, cigar box and earth. Varietal eucalyptus andbell pepper hints which are indicative of McLaren Vale may also come to the fore but are well-integrated with the other developing characters, maintaining an even palate weight with a seamless and persistently rolling mineral/ fruit acidity. Source : d Arenberg