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Wantirna Estate 'Amelia' Cabernet Merlot Blend 2019

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The 2019 growing season was certainly one of many parts. After the hottest and driest January on record, February was up and down in temperature with March pretty warm to start with. But after a run of warm days, autumn seemed to arrive, and we had lovely cool nights and mild days for the last three weeks of the Merlot and Cabernet ripening.
And the nice part of the story is that there was quite a decent crop across the varieties. We harvested the grapes over two weeks, bringing the Cabernet Franc and Merlot in first, followed by the Cabernet Sauvignon and finally the last variety to be harvested: Petit Verdot.
2019 was the first year in our new winery. So much space. Not only were we happy winemakers but we were able to utilise many small 1000-litre fermenters. Each batch is hand-plunged and/or pumped over a couple of times a day. This keeps the ferment temperature under control, allows the skins and juice to stay amalgamated and begins to gently extract flavours and tannins. Sugar fermentation usually takes about seven days from start to finish, and it’s during this time that the beautiful aromas fill the winery, especially from the fruity Cabernet Franc.
As is now common in our winemaking, all the ferments except Petit Verdot have extended post-ferment time on skins, with nine days for the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. We love the fine tannins that this treatment gives the wine and the rich fruit flavours that are extracted.
The moment of truth – when we lift the lid on the ‘locked-down’ ferment – is always filled with a little apprehension, as well as excitement; not having been able to taste nor analyse the wine during that time can make a winemaker nervous. Having said that, the wines thus far have always been terrific and none of the wild ideas of the things that could go wrong are apparent!
The 2019 is from a warmer year but the wine has the trademark elegance that Amelia is known for. It has terrific fruit and lovely long tannins that round the wine off beautifully as well as giving it structure and the ability to age very well. – Maryann Egan

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