2018-2021 vertical tasting of the L.A.S. Vino cabernet sauvignon
With life as with wine, we deal with constants and variables. The constant; place and variety. The variable; time and winemaking. Each year we pick the cabernet from the same site; a 30 year old organic/biodynamic cabernet vineyard dry grown in Yallingup. We adjust our winemaking based on the variables of vintage.
From the outset we never wanted to make, 'just another cabernet' . In our approach towards this wine we ask the following question -' How can we make this both delicious, but also unique and interesting ?' To that effect, in the vintages that allow, we use extended maceration for all or a proportion of the wine for depth, length and balance. I have always thought of Cabernet Sauvignon as a grape thats 90% perfect. The 10% filled with another variety. We use the extended maceration to make it 100%.
We always hand-pick, hand sort and berry sort the fruit. We have alway fermented naturally as whole berries, no crushing. Generally 1-2 movements of the wine per day while its fermenting, always by hand and gravity.
Looking back, the winemaking on this was pretty out there. It was very difficult, and thinking about it now, I can't believe we did it. We deconstructed 228L barriques so we could ferment the berries inside them. Then reconstructed them so we could age the wine/berries inside. We did this with the majority of the wine and then basket pressed after the berries had been immersed in wine for 365 days around the sun. The wine on the nose has both primary and secondary notes and shows medium levels complexity and intensity aromatically. Notes of prune and blackberry. Its in the mouth that this wine shines. Due to the ageing on skins it has incredible depth and structure on the pallet. The wine sits in your mouth for an eternity. The tannins are unlike another Cabernet I have tasted.
Side note; 2018 was an all time vintage, best on record. This wine still has another 5 years in it.
*Christian and Matteo basket pressing the 2018 Cabernet. Whole berries fermented in 225L barrels for 365 days behind the basket press
The nose is completely different from the 2018, as are the tannins. Silky tannins but less complexity and length than the 2018. Overall I think more punters would enjoy this over the 18. The mouthfeel is far less complex but ultimately easier to enjoy. The silky tannins are alluring and inviting. The nose is all dark red fruit, plum, blackberry and mulberry. 2019 was a more difficult year, with early rains, but this vineyard site, being dry grown and organic ripens early and we picked before the majority of the rain set in. We used larger 500l vinification barrels this year, and a smaller proportion was left on skins for extended maceration (50%) , I really like this wine. Has 10 years left.
Earliest vintage on record with extremely low yields. Erin Larkin describes it as ' Short , fast, loud.' We picked a month earlier than the previous years and had enough grapes to make 1x 500L barrel and 1x 225L(new oak) barrel. We blended and hand bottled un-filtered and un-fined. Its kind of a standout in the lineup, no extended maceration (due to the low yields). Aromatically really complex. Lots of fruit. On the pallet beautiful silky tannins and line and length. For me this has the most personality of all the wines.
A difficult year to make wine. But once again, dry grown organic viticulture yielding benefits beyond measure. Was able to pick before the majority of the rain set in. We had 20% on skins for 365 days, the remainder maturing in 228l barriques (10%) new. Easily the most complex aromatically. On the pallet, a large weight of tannins and very complex yet, balanced. A wine that will age for at least 10 or more years. Tasted this 6 days later and was looking even better which gives an indication its a wine that will age gracefully.