Flametree Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2017

“(…).  It’s not difficult to like and/or admire this wine.  (…).”

“79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, 10% malbec. Mainly grown in the Wilyabrup and Yallingup sub-regions but with some input from Wallcliffe.  It tastes ripe, bold, generous and chocolatey and, tannin-aside, it feels smooth to the touch. It’s not difficult to like and/or admire this wine. Gravel, dark chocolate, pure blackcurrant, mint and tobacco characters have this wine cruising along beautifully. It has the balance, texture and flavour to drink well now, but for those reasons and more it will mature positively into the medium term and beyond. An inviting jubey aspect to the fruit here leads me personally towards the ‘want to drink this now’ side of things.”
Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, August 2019

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Tasting Notes

Tasting notes – download pdf

 

TASTING NOTES

The 2017 Cabernet Merlot is very aromatic, showing mulberry, plum and cassis together with dark chocolate notes. The palate shows ripe, fleshy varietal Cabernet fruit characters finishing with fine, soft tannins. Cabernet provides fragrance and structure; Merlot adds mid-palate weight and lovely earthy notes; Malbec provides further dark fruit flesh. This year’s Cabernet Merlot will provide good early drinking and also age well in the short to medium term.

WINEMAKING

Hand-picked and select harvested fruit parcels were tipped directly into open or static fermenters for a few days soaking on skins. Once the wild ferment kicked in, we started plunging and pump-overs for subtle tannin extraction. We worked the skins early and then backed off later in the fermentation process. The individual batches were pressed and then transferred into new and used French oak barrels for maturation. After 12 months in 35% new French oak the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot was blended and bottled, no fining was necessary.

VINEYARDS

The majority of fruit for the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot comes from the Wilyabrup and Yallingup sub-regions, home to many of Margaret River’s most famous Cabernet blends. This fruit brings power and richness to the finished wine. A parcel from the more southern Wallcliffe sub-region complements the fruit driven Wilyabrup and Yallingup components, adding a tighter structure and lifted perfume.

2017 VINTAGE

2017 was a cooler and later vintage than the previous 10 years; a year of elegant, perhaps even medium bodied wines, though ripe in flavour, vibrant and very perfumed. Higher than average yields in combination with a cooler season contributed to delayed ripening of the fruit and good acid retention. Canopy management and fruit thinning were imperative to allow for even, persistent ripening. April was the driest on record, the extra hang time has resulted in lovely medium bodied wines with good perfume, colour and structure.

Reviews & Awards

“(…).  It’s not difficult to like and/or admire this wine.  (…).”

“79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, 10% malbec. Mainly grown in the Wilyabrup and Yallingup sub-regions but with some input from Wallcliffe.  It tastes ripe, bold, generous and chocolatey and, tannin-aside, it feels smooth to the touch. It’s not difficult to like and/or admire this wine. Gravel, dark chocolate, pure blackcurrant, mint and tobacco characters have this wine cruising along beautifully. It has the balance, texture and flavour to drink well now, but for those reasons and more it will mature positively into the medium term and beyond. An inviting jubey aspect to the fruit here leads me personally towards the ‘want to drink this now’ side of things.”
Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, August 2019

“(…).  So refreshing.”

“Mid crimson. Lifted and leafy dark fruit, invitingly fresh. Super-fine tannin texture and a touch of chocolate on the finish but the fruit wins over the winemaking. Chalky and fresh on the finish. So refreshing.”
Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson.com, April 2020

“(…).  Classy.”

“As red as it is purple. More herbal than richly-fruited aromatics of clove and thyme. A burst of red and purple berry fruit drives the palate. It does taper quickly into grippy tannins and oak-spice. The sum of all its parts – classy.”
Nick Butler, The Real Review, June 2019

 

Flametree Wines

“Best Wineries of the Regions” + “5 red stars”

Halliday Wine Companion 2012 – 2020

“Top Wineries of Australia” 2018, 2019 + 2020

Huon Hooke, The Real Review

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