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Terre à Terre Crayères Reserve 2016 is the top wine from Xavier Bizot and the Terre à Terre team. It's not often through a wine career that you get to taste multiple premium vintages from when the wine is first released. The is a French take on one of the most iconic varietal blends in the world.
Let's start with the harvest - it's done by hand at three different times. The Shiraz is picked first and makes up 68%. Cabernet Franc, which makes up 16% of the blend is picked second and finally the Cabernet Sauvignon which is 16% of the blend. The growing season for this vintage was the warmest and driest on record. Yields were kept to 6 tonnes per hectare by good and balanced crop management.
The really interesting fact here is about the Crayères Vineyard itself. It's located at the top of a north-south limestone ridge. The size of the vineyard is 8 hectares and has parcels of Sauvignon Blanc also. The soil is Terra Rossa which is a characteristic of the area. The vines were planted in 2004 and 2008 and are slowly reaching their prime.
The Crayères Reserve also sees some pretty serious processes too, but always with restraint. The fruit is de-stemmed and crushed. It's then fermented in potter fermenters, all in separate parcels. Each variety is aged in 84% new oak average for 11 months. The assemblage is then blended in a 5 year old 4000L French Oak foudre and aged for another 17 months. There is light egg fining then the wines are again racked. Bottled without filtration and then another 18 months of bottle ageing. Wow. Decant for an hour at least, but be sure to taste at intervals.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Cabernet Franc
Wrattonbully, South Australia