Region: Beechworth - Victoria
Winemaker: Adrian Rodda
Varietal(s): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 22% Merlot 8% Malbec 6% Petit Verdot 4% Cabernet Franc
“Cuvée de Chez” loosely translates as Cellar Blend and is Adrian’s interpretation of a traditional Bordeaux blend or ‘Claret’.
Adrian believes that when it comes to Bordeaux varieties, the sum is greater than its parts. Cabernet Sauvignon provides the tannin, length and structural backbone, Merlot contributes ‘the fuzzy ball of fruit’ in the mid-palate, Cabernet Franc red fruits and savouriness, Petit Verdot adds perfume and acid line and Malbec gives dark fruits and overall roundness to the finish. With this in mind, each variety was made to ensure its varietal strengths came to the fore.
Cabernet Sauvignon was crushed and de-stemmed whereas the other three varieties incorporated more whole berries. During fermentation, the timing and combination of pump-overs, “rack and returns”, pigeage and plunging was to preserve aromatics and perfume yet extract adequate tannins for structure and length, depending on the variety. Post-fermentation, the Cabernet Sauvignon was held on skins for a further 12 days than the other varieties. All wines were pressed to French oak barriques (29% new) for a16 month elevage.