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The rainfall and temperatures during the 2002-03 growing season at Coonawarra were above average so our vines set healthy canopies. During February and March prior to harvest, conditions were warm and though it rained a couple of times, this freshened the vines rather than created any mildew concerns. Generally the temperatures through to harvest were mild allowing the grapes to retain excellent balance of flavour and sugar.

Menzies is made by small lot vinification, maintaining the integrity of each harvest parcel throughout vinification and maturation. The grapes are crushed to small static fermenters and 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 were given extended skin contact before pressing.

The majority of the oak the wine is matured in is French but this year saw the inclusion of a small number of well seasoned new American oak barriques. Once the bottling blend was finalised, the wine was given a further four months in oak to harmonise.

Yalumba The Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 has crimson red hues. The aroma is reminiscent of briar and brambles with lashings of berry fruits and high notes of sweet vanilla oak. The palate opens with the berry fruits building to a complex meld of fruit and savoury briar notes and finishes with lashings of soft, velvety tannins.

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