2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


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The Reserve range continues to be the best of what we are able to produce in a given vintage – single vineyard or otherwise. 2017 is the first Reserve Cabernet that we have released since the 2014 and marks the return of our Langtons classified wine. Fruit was predominantly sourced from two mature vineyards; Victory Point, in the Treeton subregion; and Rosa Park in the Wallcliffe subregion of Margaret River, and was supplemented with a small amount of Malbec from our Stevens Road vineyard in Wallcliffe. The resulting blend from these vineyards has married beautifully, proving again that sometimes ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’

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Cabernet Sauvignon (95%) Petit Verdot (5%)
Margaret River
The growing season began with late budburst after a relatively cold, wet Winter. The mild Spring which followed ensured that there was good flowering and fruit set, in fact some yields needed to be addressed with crop thinning. Fine, mild conditions prevailed during Summer, which ended up being one of the coolest growing seasons in recent years. Harvest commenced late, at the end of February, with abundant Marri blossom keeping bird pressure very low whilst the whites were harvested. March was relatively wet with a significant rain event after most of the white fruit had been picked. Fortunately, the April that followed was glorious (the driest April since 1982 in fact) with fine weather and no heat extremes experienced at all. The extended ripening period allowing the reds to attain full physiological maturity and tannin ripeness with a wonderful sense of finesse.

Tasting Notes

Deep red with purple hues
The wine offers vibrant aromas of blackcurrant, mulberries and rose petal frames by fine French oak, interwoven with hints of dark choc-mint and dried herb in the background
Powerful yet elegant, the generous palate offers a core of ripe forest fruits, cassis and dark chocolate characters. The wine has wonderful density, layered with inky fruits and underpinned by silky fine-grained tannins. Complex and quintessentially Margaret River with a long Cabernet finish.
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Fruit was crushed/destemmed before small batch fermentation in a combination of static and open fermenters. Fermentation takes 7-8 days at 24 – 26°C, during which the cap is managed using a combination of aerative pumping over, as well as regular plunging by hand. After a very gentle pressing, all of the components were matured for 14 months in French oak barriques before the blend was assembled from a selection of ‘best barrels’ from each batch (45% new oak) were selected for the final blend.

Professional Reviews

Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
With 95% cabernet sauvignon, 5% malbec. It’s a best barrels selection with the final blend seeing 45% new French oak. This takes quality by the scruff of the neck. It’s seriously good cabernet: firm, flavoursome, tidy, balanced and long. It has excellent concentration, a thick mesh of tannin and enough nuance for you to know that more is to come. You could build a cellar around a wine like this.
I see we’ve not reviewed this wine since the 2014 vintage, and then I checked the Xanadu website, and this is the first release since that vintage. Phew. Thought we’d been slacking. Anyway, The Cabernet Master™ is back on the case. Turns up the tannin and intensity, blue and black fruit, cocoa, baking spices and bay leaf. Thick and gravelly, bright and buoyant blueberry and boysenberry, clean lines of acidity, and a long spiced and perfumed finish, lots of chocolate, tobacco, dried flowers and ripe tannin. It’s an excellent wine, but it’s the quality and density of tannin that pushes me towards such a high score. Just.
This makes a striking impression of classically cedary oak, cloves, nutmeg, toasted wood, cocoa, red cherries, blueberries, mint and leafy nuances and more. So complex. The palate has a succulent and very vibrant delivery of fruit flesh and finely detailed tannin with a long, fresh, concentrated and elegantly fine run to the finish. Great now, but en better from 2024.
Vivid deep-purple colour. Exuberant, hi-fi cabernet aromas of cassis, blueberry, violets and other berries, fruit doing all the talking - and loudly. The palate is exceedingly elegant, refined and poised. Very intense, with fine but persuasive tannins, and refreshing acidity. This is a surprisingly medium to full bodied wine for a Reserve cabernet, not a blockbuster but very intense, a smart wine indeed. It’s a baby and desperately needs more time.