22 cases made. That’s one measly barrel. Suffice to say that this is one rare, special wine. A rare, special wine worth seeking out (and selling fast).
It’s made by Ben Gould, a former Young Winemaker of the Year finalist and general overachiever whom manages the tiny 4 hectare, Biodynamic (in conversion) Blind Corner vineyard on the banks of the Wilyabrup Brook. Ben’s family established the Deep Woods estate and it was here that he learnt his craft, spending 10yrs in the family business before jaunting off overseas, only to return home to this little Blind Corner project.
Fittingly this wine is a unique one, produced from handpicked grapes that are air dried for two weeks after picking. They are then foot crushed, hand plunged and basket pressed into French oak where the wine spent a further 12 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
If that already sounds like an involved project, then the fact that this precious barrel of Amarone styled Cabernet also accompanied Ben on his family beach holiday is probably of little surprise. Ben quite simply didn’t want to leave it alone, so he chucked the barrel in the back of the ute to take on holidays along with his young family. Now that’s commitment.
As for the wine? Wow. It marries all the fresh varietal intensity of Margaret River Cabernet with the extra layers of richness that the air drying process injects into it. It carries a lovely choc-berry trifle, oak-and-fruit richness on the nose that is really rather attractive. It’s a nose of vitality and freshness even despite the drying process. The palate too is fresh, rich, long and choc-berried, carrying lots of blueberry and blackberry fruit and a kick of firm tannins to finish. It’s a wine of power yet structure, a reasonably upfront wine yet with a proper backbone behind it. Perhaps the only quibble is that the oak is a fraction dominant now, but that is a trifling complaint (guffaw). Great booze, great story and no shortage of interest here. 18.3/93+
(Ben also does a great sparkling chenin too)