About The Tangram
The winter preceding the 2012 vintage was fairly mild followed by a cool November and December. An exceptionally warm week early in January ensured abundant development of fruit flavours with great complexity and with no rain during the season the grapes enjoyed an uninterrupted ripening period.
IN THE VINEYARD
The Cabernet Sauvignon was selected from a block planted in 1989 on a fairly low and warm southerly slope which opens up towards the ocean allowing the cooler evening air to drench the vineyards after the heat of the day. Planted on a north-western slope near the valley floor where the downward flowing air creates a unique climatic condition, the Merlot was selected from a block planted in 1999 on the opposing foothill facing the Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard blocks identified for the Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec components all came from vineyards planted in 1999 in the same radius on the warmer northern slopes of the valley.
To ensure gentle handling of the grapes during harvest, the winemakers hand-selected the dedicated team that picked the grapes. The grapes were meticulously sorted by an automated sorting table that does berry-by-berry selection to ensure only the best grapes were selected from each cultivar.
IN THE CELLAR
Due to the small volumes of the Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec the berries were pumped directly to 500 litre barrels with the barrel head removed to allow for open-top fermentation with manual punch-downs. This method produces softer tannins, better extraction of flavours and overall complexity. Pressing was done in a small basket press from where the wine was transferred to the maturation cellar.
The winemakers selected new French oak with a tight grain to allow for slow extraction of flavours from the wood. Each varietal was matured separately for two years after which only the best barrels of each was identified for the final blend. The winemakers spent three days creating over 100 blends, each time making the only slightest change in the composition of the blends. Their aim was to find that precise moment when the greatness of each individual component would harmonious blend together. The wine was left to mature for a further year in the bottle.