While not the most ‘acclaimed’ wine from Woodlands, as that historically would fall to the ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Margaret’ is the wine that best captures the soul and spirit of Woodlands. The Cabernet Sauvignon portion comes from a slope on the south of Woodlands that wraps around a 90-degree radius from east to north. The fruit on this slope receives a great deal of direct sunlight from morning to mid-afternoon, leading to rich full-bodied wines. The Merlot and Malbec plots that make up the remainder of ‘Margaret’ come from our west-facing slope of deep loam soil. This slope receives the most direct afternoon sunlight at Woodlands, and produces more exotic fruit characters in the finished wine. The unirrigated vines loved the drink, and went on to produce wines of class and restrained power, balanced by great natural acidity – particularly so for Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Vintage 2018 was absolutely ideal and was one of Margaret River’s best vintages. After a good amount of rainfall at the beginning of the growing season, flowering conditions were near-perfect. Great weather continued from mid-December through till the end of harvest. Just like the vintage itself, 2018 ‘Margaret’ is rich and warming.
Following harvest, the fruit was destemmed, hand sorted, crushed and fermented in small stainless steel fermenters. Following a partial native yeast fermentation, the wines were allowed to soak on skins for an additional 15-30 days, depending on the lot. The Cabernet was then pressed into French barriques, 45% new, for a long aging process. After one year of aging the barrels were lightly sulfured and laid to rest again for another five months. After a total of a 18 months the barrels were tasted and selected for the final blend. The wine was racked to tank, lightly sulfured, and settled naturally then bottled without fining or filtration.