Sandown Cabernet Sauvignon
The Clarendon Hills Sandown Vineyard is located in the southernmost part of Blewitt Springs and was planted in 1935 to Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Clarendon Hills Sandown Cabernet Sauvignon
It is today a Clarendon Hills estate-owned vineyard that produces some of our best wines every year. While we have long focused on world-class Grenache and Syrah from this region, the terroir is highly capable of producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
We all talk about the famous sands of Blewitt Springs that typify the region. In fact, the sandy soils are perfect for Cabernet to exceed within. The sands all were deposited some 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when polar ice caps melted and sea levels rose significantly to deposit a sandy beach across Blewitt Springs some 250 metres above sea level and 7.5kms inland from where the current shoreline is today. The sands play a pivotal role in the modern storytelling of the region but the full story of the terroir actually began some 1600 million years earlier. Modern geological surveys assess the prevalence of ancient geological formations dated between 600-1600 million years of age throughout the region. This is some of the oldest geology on earth and pre-dates many of the famous terroirs of France that are Paleozoic or Cambrian in age, whereas our soils are dated in the older Proterozoic or Burra era. The Blewitt Springs region itself is approximately 8 square kilometres and sits inland within McLaren Vale, in the northeastern hillsides of the greater region. The region is provided significant distinction via its elevation with cool nights and maritime proximity to Saint Vincent Gulf. The product of the above essentially makes the grapes with thicker skins and the free-draining sandy soils that are speckled with ironstone and quartz and produce distinct mineral facets to the wines forged from these vines. It’s my belief the wines from Blewitt Springs also posses a certain femininity and softness in terms of texture and the complexity and range of varietal expression is in realm of the exotic.
We have been making Sandown Cabernet Sauvignon since 1998 and over the course of the last 25 years, the vines have matured and refined in their expression substantially. The nearly 100-year-old vines are planted in sands with a high ratio of heavily decomposed shale, schist, quartz and ironstone and yield a lifted and highly complex expression. The site is freely draining and the roots shoot their network extremely deeply to reflect their ancient terroir with lifted aristocratic perfume.
The fruit is also handled with the utmost respect at the winery via hand picking and 100% destemming. We then culture a wild yeast ferment that takes approximately 28 days to complete with yeasts that grow indigenously within the vineyard. We mature in extremely special barrels from Bordeaux for 18 months before bottling on-site to forge a truly world-class expression.
Sandown Cabernet Sauvignon