Cockscomb Cabernet Sauvignon bottle image
Cockscomb Cabernet Sauvignon bottle image

Cockscomb Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tasting Notes

Cabernet is very much the poor cousin in McLaren Vale to Shiraz, and it really shouldn’t be. The Vale makes cracking cabs – they have ripe tannins and although they can show herbal characters, the tannins are never green, or unripe. You will find blue fruits (violets and red currants) on the Cockscomb’s nose. Both nose and palate are bright and fresh. There are nice tannins and the wine has a great length; i.e. you can taste it in your mouth for a long time after you have swallowed it. Super!

Vintage 2014 was a season of extremes for us all in McLaren Vale. We had great winter rains which gave us a full soil profile in time for a dry and windy spring. They don’t call it windy Willunga for nothing – I think if we’d had a set of wind chimes on the property, we would have heard them all day and night from September to January. We had a series of very hot days in January, followed by about 45mm of rain over a 48 period in early February which slowed ripening of our red grapes right down. We had picked all of our white grapes prior to the rain ‘event’ and so we had a decent break between whites and reds, like the good old days. There was no splitting of any of the grapes left on the vine after the rain, mercifully, either. Joch’s analysis of 2014 is that it was a gentleman’s vintage – everything came in slowly and in order, not like the mad rush of 2013. Every vintage is different; truism of our time, and of our industry.

The Cockscomb is made in a very similar fashion to the Bosworth Cabernet Sauvignon – pretty traditional in every way. The grapes are harvested and then crushed and fermented in various open vessels. The juice is pumped over the ‘cap’ (the mass of skins which floats to the top during a ferment) to extract colour, flavour and tannin. We use both French and American oak to mature the wine in, but Cockscomb spends considerably less time in oak, and we use less new oak, too as compared to the Battle of Bosworth CS.

Technical Details

Picking Date: 28th March then the 1st, 2nd and 4th April 2014

Alc/Vol: 14.5%

Bottling Date: 12th October 2015