Since 1987, the Hill-Smith family has counted itself amongst those fortunate enough to produce an estate grown Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. To own a vineyard upon that famous terra rossa soil over limestone is the holy grail of all Cabernet Sauvignon purists. Experimentation, innovation, minimalist intervention and small batch winemaking has resulted in The Menzies’ reputation as one of the best wines of its type to emerge from the region – a wine of longevity, elegance and structure.
The Menzies is in the heart of Coonawarra terra rossa country. The vineyard site is reasonably level, with the defining terroir difference coming from the soils. Our soil is red sandy loam over limestone, which is classic Cabernet Sauvignon dirt. Most of the vines for Yalumba The Menzies were planted in 1985 and are trellised tall with wide rows. Bunches are usually small with small berries giving a concentration that favours the creation of full bodied reds.
2013 was an excellent vintage; it was preceded by good winter rains and mild conditions during flowering, giving a good even set of berries. The warm conditions continued through harvest allowing the winemakers to pick ripe grapes at the ideal colour, flavour and tannin accumulation; it is a vintage to collect. The Menzies is made by small batch winemaking, maintaining the integrity of each eight-tonne vineyard parcel through vinification and initial barrel maturation. The grapes were crushed to small static fermenters where 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 are given extended skin contact before pressing.