Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Clovely Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

With the thought of Cabernet Day lurking (Thursday 1 September), last weekend I thought I would have a look at one.

Clovely Estate is a Queensland winery situated in the South Burnett which is a 2.5-3 hour drive from Brisbane heading north west. The South Burnett is not to be confused with the Granite Belt which is 2.5-3 hours heading south west from Brisbane,  and the two are very different regions.
Surrounding towns in the area include Murgon and Kingaroy. Immediately many people assume that wine cannot be made in that country, but it's quite the opposite. The area has many similarities to the Hunter Valley in fact - cool nights and warm days. The soil type is limestone over basalt, making it not overly fertile and excellent drainage. Both are perfect attributes for viticulture.

The Reserve range at Clovely is only released in a good year, one that will uphold the standards of the winery. Most years a Reserve Shiraz, Reserve Chardonnay and Reserve Verdelho is produced, but the Reserve Cabernet has not been as consistent due to varying weather and vintage conditions.

Some double pruned fruit is used in this wine. What is double pruning I hear you ask? Double pruning has become increasingly popular in the South Burnett and I have since noticed some southern wineries applying the technique. Essentially, the vines are pruned twice each year rather than once. The second pruning occurs in summer essentially removing the first crop and forcing the vines to produce a second smaller but more concentrated crop. A very labour intensive process, but the final product produces spectacular results and complexities in the wine. This wine is no exception. The Reserve Shiraz has a double pruned component to it but the flagship wine of Clovely is the Double Pruned Shiraz ($60) which is an absolute spanker!! This wine is 100% double pruned fruit.

With all that background, let's get into this wine!

The fruit is a powerful black in the glass. The nose is intense and rich. The French oak is prominent, of which the wine is sat in for 18 months. Vanillin and dark berries along with a gentle spice. Mouth feel is full (13.5% abv) and soft tannins seal the deal beautifully. A wonderful wine (well priced too at $28) which will have you gob smacked it was a Queenslander. Well worth hunting it down.