We had good winter rains after a few seasons of below average rainfall. This was a late season: budburst was approximately 2-3 weeks late, and harvest started similarly behind our standard season (we usually start picking Chardonnay in early/ mid-February). This year we picked whites in late February/ early March. Unseasonal rains in March threw a spanner in the works somewhat, but luck and good management helped us dodge most of the bullets. Cabernet was great, as were our best parcels of Shiraz, which showed incredibly bright and balanced characteristics, reminiscent of our 1999 reds. 2011 is a standout Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot year (we were still picking PV in late April and the PV is our latest picked variety on the property). Overall this was a very long vintage with moderate yields which tested Joch’s nerves a little more than usual.
Best of Vintage is an unashamedly elitist wine. We are trying to make the finest wine we possibly can. Joch chose the very best wines from his favourite barrels from the best batches of Cabernet (47%), Shiraz (37%) and Petit Verdot (16%) from vintage 2011. All three varieties went through the old-school winemaking mill; they were individually fermented in open vessels and then finished off ferment in barrel. The Petit Verdot also spent an extended period of time on skins. We used a mix of new and old predominantly French oak barrels, with a couple of new American barrels thrown in for good measure. The 2011 Best of Vintage was bottled some 6 months after the 2011 Battle of Bosworth Shiraz and 2011 Battle of Bosworth Cabernet Sauvignon.
Best of Vintage is both elegant and powerful at the same time, and complex too. The nose shows cedar, dark fruits, salt-cured olives, as well as floral notes courtesy of the Petit Verdot. There are plush dark fruit and red fruits on the palate, with fine tannins that frame the wine. This wine is an excellent follow up to the inaugural 2010 Best of Vintage, and reflects the terrific season for both Cabernet and Petit Verdot that vintage 2011 ended up being. Joch recommends decanting prior to drinking, to allow the wine to open up properly.
|Vineyards||Chanticleer, Braden’s and the Hill Petit Verdot|
|Picking Date||27th March, 12th April and 15th April 2011|
|Bottling Date||21st November 2012|