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Since 1987, the Hill-Smith family has counted itself amongst those fortunate enough to produce an estate grown Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. To own a vineyard upon that famous terra rossa soil over limestone is the holy grail of all Cabernet Sauvignon purists. Experimentation, innovation, minimalist intervention and small batch winemaking has resulted in The Menzies’ reputation as one of the best wines of its type to emerge from the region – a wine of longevity, elegance and structure.
Terroir & Site
The Menzies is in the heart of the Coonawarra terra rossa country. The vineyard site is reasonably level, with the defining terroir difference coming from the soils. Our soil is red sandy loam over limestone, which is classic Cabernet Sauvignon dirt. Most of the vines for Yalumba The Menzies were planted in 1985 and are trellised tall with wide rows. Bunches are usually small with small berries giving a concentration that favours the creation of full bodied reds.
Winemaking & Viticulture
The 2012 growing season began well with good winter rains and early bud burst. A dry January and February allowed grapes to reach full flavour ripeness. The Menzies is made by small batch winemaking maintaining the integrity of each eight-tonne vineyard parcel through vinification and initial barrel maturation. The grapes were crushed to small static fermenters where the liberation of colour and tannin is controlled either by plunging the skins, irrigating the fermenting wine over the cap or draining all the wine from the skins then flooding it back. Selected parcels are given extended skin contact before pressing.
Full depth with a red crimson hue. The bouquet is of medium to full intensity with bright berry and plum fruits with a sea- spray tang that is typical of Yalumba The Menzies. The palate is full bodied and rich, opening with plush red fruits yielding a textured mid-palate and yielding to a lengthy finish. Enjoy with a pomegranate and fennel glazed rack of Limestone Coast lamb.
The wine drinks beautifully now and will continue to evolve favourably for at least fifteen years.