Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Abercrombie’
The 2008 Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque red with a purple rim. The nose is filled with blackberry, cedar, tomato leaf, dusty bitumen road and chocolate representing each distinctive component of the harmonious Great Southern and Margaret River blend. On the palate, the Great Southern fruit parcels provide the structural backbone and line of the wine while the Margaret River component lifts the aromatics adding flesh and complexity. The palate starts with a rush of plush red berry fruit and reaches its zenith with damp earth and forest floor complexity balanced by ultrafine powdery and layered tannins. The finish displays the class of the selected vineyards with long fruit and structural elements balanced by supporting mocha oak.
The 2008 growing season started with the dry winter of 2007 leaving many dams at below adequate levels for comfort for the forthcoming growing season. Fortunately, the spring was wet and cool which preserved soil moisture. However, the flip-side was that berry set was compromised in Cabernet Sauvignon. The later spring and early summer was even and warm without the heat spikes experienced in the eastern states. Shoot growth was even and there was excellent ripening potential in the canopies for the moderate yields. We experienced mixed flowering conditions leading to the lower crop levels in the reds as mentioned. Benign and mild weather for most of the ripening season was punctuated by well timed rain events which aided ripening by maintaining leaf freshness and avoiding stress, not least for the viticulturist. The 2008 season will be regarded as a classic Western Australian vintage; every variety ripened to perfection without racing, colours were opaque and deep and tannins ripe and supple. The reds will be long lived examples of their styles. The fruit was hand picked, sorted and fermented in a mix of small static fermenters and open stainless steel vats. The wines were hand-plunged and pumped over as required to balance the extraction of colour, tannin and flavour development. The structure of both the Margaret River and Great Southern components allowed for extended maceration of the wines on skins for four weeks once alcoholic fermentation was complete. The wines were basket-pressed and matured in 70% new and 30% one year old French Oak barriques from several different coopers.
Howard Park & Madfish
Mount Barker, Great Southern 60%, Margaret River 40% , Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon “Abercrombie”