|Stylish packaging for this Clairault too|
14.5%, Screwcap, $60
Clairault Estate was sold recently to John Streicker, local grapegrower/vigneron and a noted US property developer. What that means for the wines is still up in the air, though if they continue to be as well constructed as this there is little fear.
A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, this is sourced from six different sites on the Clairault property, with the majority coming from the 1976 planted A Block. Half of the fruit was handpicked, half machined. After fermentation the Merlot component spent 5 days on skins, the Cabernet a solid 15 days. The wine then spent 24 months in 50% new French oak (the remainder older).
What I love about wine this is how varietal and structured it is, with a classical dusty/leafy nose over a dense and firm palate - it's a Cabernet lovers delight. The only distraction is that stewed edge, a suggestion of perhaps a little overripe fruit in the mix. The long and regal palate though is very tidy, with tannins reflecting the serious winemaking and that long post-ferment maceration. Longggg. If only it didn't have that roasted edge? Great stuff regardless. Should be long lived too.
Drink: Now - 2022+