2019 really was a tough year for the Ashmead family’s iconic Nuriootpa vineyard.
For the first time in the 40 years of Ashmead family involvement with the property, the vineyard was hit with multiple catastrophic frosts. This ensured yields were down by approximately 70% right across this prized vineyard (including Command, Grand Tourer Shiraz and the vines that make the much loved Ode to Lorraine).
The almost 80-year-old Cabernet vines, which are generally the lowest yielding vines on the whole vineyard, were also unfortunately heavily impacted by the frosts. Thus the 2019 harvest is the smallest we have released in our history, with only 265 x 6 packs produced.
Whilst old vine Cabernet Sauvignon is normally characterised by its small berries and petite bunches, 2019 took this to a new level. Harvest decisions for 2019 were based around the flavours in the developing berries balanced with a close eye on vine health.
The 2019 Ashmead Cabernet Sauvignon was hand harvested and fermented in our open concrete fermenters. Because of the small amount of fruit we picked, we didn’t come close to filling the fermenter!
“We worked hard to balance the fruit in the tiny berries whilst not over-extracting the ever-present tannins so typical of Cabernet Sauvignon,” note Jules and Brock in their winemaking comments for the vintage.
“The freshly pressed wine went straight to new French oak for malolactic fermentation, followed by around 18 months further maturation.”
2019 is one of the prettier Ashmead Cabernets that we have produced and is deliciously seductive right now, but will age beautifully in good cellars for 10 – 15 years.
With third party endorsement from Halliday Wine Companion at 95 points, along with a 92 from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, this is a wine that we do not expect to remain in our warehouse for very long. Get in quick if you want / need it!
Story from our newsletter, the Elderton Buzz – March 2022 edition