LCBO Vintages Classics Release
Voyager Estate works magic with Cabernet Sauvignon. Located in the Margaret River region of southwest Australia, the climate is moderate and somewhat maritime-influenced. Similar to Bordeaux in some ways.
The Cabernet core of this exceptional wine comes from three vineyard blocks, including the estate vineyard’s 33-year-old vines. The mature vines yield exceptionally consistent fruit with great intensity and individuality, and the winery takes an intensive, single-minded philosophy to coaxing out the best possible fruit. There’s a real sense of back-to-basics farming that strips away extraneous additives, relying instead on meticulous hand-pruning, shoot thinning, yield management, hand-harvesting, and hand-sorting. The vines have a head start, being rooted in gravelly soil with an underlying clay base. The soil structure drains well when water is abundant, then stores and slowly releases moisture through the growing season.
In 2012, readily available moisture from winter rains led to even spring budburst. While the rest of the season was somewhat challenging (one of the driest seasons and earliest harvests on record), Voyager’s high standards, experience, and attention to detail ensured healthy fruit. The winery made the most of outstanding ripening conditions through august, ultimately harvesting grapes with fully-developeed tannins and concentrated flavours. A difficult season for some, at Voyager, it will be remembered as a year for clean, pure fruit with great varietal expression.
Hand-harvested Cabernet was de-stemmed but not crushed to retain as many whole berries as possible. Vineyard parcels were fermented in small lots at cool temperatures, then left on skins to soak. The wine from each parcel was kept separate through 20 months in tight-grained French oak (50% new) prior to blending.
While the bottle label says “Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot”, the moniker should be taken with a grain of salt: the finished wine comprises 91% Cabernet, 6% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot. The lifted bouquet shows dark red berries, dusty oak, and cedar. That sweet dark and red berry fruit continues through the palate with earthy, gravelly bass notes. Graphite and bay leaf add a savoury element to the wine. It’s rich and complex with great length and balance supported by fine-grained tannins and seamlessly integrated French oak.
“Few young Cabernets display such effortless grace and relentless endurance. Pure, perfumed, immaculately poised and elegant, yet deep, enduring and concentrated. Classic Margaret River.”
97 points, Decanter, Sept 2017
“91% cabernet sauvignon, 6% merlot, 3% petit verdot, hand-picked and destemmed to retain whole berries, primary fermentation for 16 days, with some batches held on skins for 21 days, the parcels kept separate during 20 months maturation in French oak (50% new). A powerful, dense wine full of rich, plushy fruit, seemingly riper than Girt by Sea, when the opposite is the case – or perhaps it’s just the greater intensity and drive. This will certainly improve with further time (5 years) in bottle.”
95 points, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, Oct 2016
“Here is a wine with balance and velvet texture. What a beautiful red. Full and harmonious Drink now. Screw cap.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016
“An elegant Margaret River red, this wine’s precise tannins frame black currant flavors and lend them lasting clarity. Its time in oak (50 percent new) boosts the wine’s sappy richness, an element that should integrate with the fruit as the wine ages.”
92 points, Wine & Spirits, June 2016