Since 1987, the Hill-Smith family has counted itself amongst those fortunate enough to produce an estate grown Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. To own a vineyard upon that famous terra rossa soil over limestone is the holy grail of all Cabernet Sauvignon purists. Experimentation, innovation, minimalist intervention and small batch winemaking has resulted in The Menzies’ reputation as one of the best wines of its type to emerge from the region – a wine of longevity, elegance and structure.
About the Vineyard
The Menzies is in the heart of Coonawarra terra rossa country. The vineyard site is reasonably level, with the defining terroir difference coming from the soils. Our soil is red sandy loam over limestone, which is classic Cabernet Sauvignon dirt. Most of the vines for Yalumba The Menzies were planted in 1985 and are trellised tall with wide rows. Bunches are usually small with small berries giving a concentration that favours the creation of full bodied reds.
The Menzies is made by small batch winemaking, maintaining the integrity of each eight-tonne vineyard parcel through vinification and initial barrel maturation. The grapes were crushed to small static fermenters where the liberation of colour and tannin is controlled either by plunging the skins, irrigating the fermenting wine over the cap or draining all the wine from the skins then flooding it back. Selected parcels are given extended skin contact before pressing. Matured for 18 months in 34% new French hogsheads & barriques, 2% new Hungarian hogsheads, balance in 1 year and older American, French & Hungarian hogsheads & barriques.
Full depth in colour with a plum red hue. The bouquet leads with violet and lilac floral notes to the tangy counterpoint of seaspray and pepper. The palate is rich and powerful; red fruits and dark chocolate on a robust tannin framework. The finish is long, complex and well worth contemplating.
A char-grilled rib-eye on the bone is an excellent food accompaniment.