2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Limited Prerelease)



VINTAGE 2020 – a classic Margaret River vintage with a warm and dry ripening period moderated by afternoon sea-breezes and cool nights.

(SUB)-REGION Wilyabrup, Margaret River

VARIETALS 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (Houghton Clone)

APPEARANCE Rich plum red with black tints.

AROMA Vibrant aromas of mulberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruits lead into dark chocolate and cedar spice with savoury notes of sage and black olive.

PALATE Finely structured and elegant, this medium weighted wine displays an innate power whilst retaining delicacy and poise. Fine spun tannins carry ripe, succulent, perfumed fruits across the palate, while mint and sage freshness with savoury spice adds intrigue and complexity. Ripe fruit tannins and tight-grained French oak provides tension, structure, form and length to ensure a beautifully elegant finish.

WINEMAKING Fruit sourced from 35 year-old vines on our Estate vineyard – handpicked fruit was destemmed to open fermenter, prior to cold soak, with a controlled ferment allowing for considered and gentle maceration on skins. Wine spent up to 3 weeks on skins, with MLF complete before pressing to tank for a quick settle prior to racking to oak. Wines then spent the next 18 months in barrel with no racking or movement – just a monthly topping. Cabernet blends were assembled in November 2021 according to barrel selection, prior to a light egg fining, long-term settle in tank and filtration before bottling in February 2022.

OAK DETAIL 18-months maturation in a combination of new (42%) and seasoned French oak barriques.

CELLARING Tannins are plentiful – providing a structural framework to the wine and ensuring good cellaring potential of 20+ years, however they are sufficiently fine and elegant to allow for immediate enjoyment.

ACIDITY pH 3.58 TA 6.36 g/L 

FOOD PAIRING Roasted rack of lamb with rosemary-salted, crispy, duck fat potatoes.

97 pts. Best in Show Award – 2024 Decanter World Wine Awards
96 pts. Gold medal – 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards
95 pts. Gold medal – 2022 & 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards; 2023 Halliday Cabernet Challenge; 2023 Sydney Royal Wine Show; 2023 Wine Show of WA; 2022 WA Boutique & Single Vineyard Wine Show.


97 pts: "Do Cabernet Sauvignon and Margaret River go together? Well, it’s the fourth time that the combination has been featured in our Best In Show selection – so yes, they do. Three of those laureates, intriguingly, have come from the high-quality, low-quantity 2020 vintage – and if this wine is anything to go by, it’s a vintage which is taking its time to reach even early maturity. This wine remains an opaque black-red in colour, with admirably pure and restrained aromas of shapely blackcurrant lent freshening complexity by bush and scrub notes – a single sniff is transporting. The wine is concentrated and refined on the palate. Not merely fruity, though there is plenty of that ‘noble’ blackcurrant to enjoy, but the fruit is lent shade and nuance by the biotope allusions evident on the nose. The tannins and acids are measured and proportionate; the ripeness well-judged; and the wine moves through the mouth with easy, drinkable grace." Judges Comments, Decanter World Wine Award 2024.

95 pts: “It might be a reserve wine, but there’s no need to wait. It would be hard to, anyway, as this is gorgeous. Superfine and long with powdery tannins; there’s latent power almost within yet it hovers around medium bodied. It’s structured and detailed, laden with flavour and the oak makes its presence known but not overtly so – it adds cedar and antique wood aromas plus another layer of tannins. There are also mulberries and blueberries and a kitchen cupboard full of spices. Take it all in. Slowly. Drink 2024-2040” Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion, 6 July 2023.

95 pts: “Good depth of bright red, purple-tinted, the aromas meaty and faintly reductive, with deep-set dark berries, a hint of toasty oak, the palate full bodied and fleshy, rich and high-extract, with abundant tannins that are refined and smooth textured. Elegant but concentrated wine, with fine grained tannins in attractive harmony. High cellaring potential. 2024-2040” Huon Hooke, The Real Review, 4 October 2023.

96 pts: “Gentle perfume of dark fruits framing nuances of dark chocolate chip, violets, mint, sage and cedary undertones. Plenty of juicy fruit on the palate.” Judges comments, 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards.

94+pts: "The 2020 vintage in Margaret River was warm, compressed (earliest starting pick and earliest wrap up—producers and viticulturists home for Easter) and low yielding. The wines, as a result, and specifically in the context of Cabernet Sauvignon, are powerful, tannic and lushly fruited. Here, the 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon meets all of these vintage characteristics: black dirt, iodine, cassis, char, clove, pepper berry and graphite. The tannins are a highlight here and show the curve and density of both the region and the maturation vessel. It matured for 18 months in tight-grained French oak. 14% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. Drink 2023-2045" Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate, 6 July 2023