The sum is truly greater than any of the parts
Irvine "The Baroness"
The Baroness exemplifies the art in winemaking and in particular the skill of blending to a super premium global style. The opportunity does not come often to be able to select excellent wines across a range of years, two/three vineyards, and three varieties. When blended together these create the style in the mind of the winemaker-stylist. This of itself is not enough. The finished wine must show in obvious terms the difference, the complexity, the deluxe attitude, the style, full consumer recognition and satisfaction.
Half the Baroness comes from our GLA Merlot block at Springhill. This is a small (0.71 hectare) planting with close planted (4,000 vines per hectare) on Smart-Dyson trellis for maximum sun/leaf/dapple light ratios, and on the deepest sandy loam we have. In fact the only patch of sandy loam on the property. The rows are 2.2 metres apart and the vines one metre apart, and trained with one arm only which runs to meet the next vine so filling the trellis wire.
The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc come from two Barossa vineyards selected as having the finest grapes in the area. Not necessarily the oldest, but certainly the truest varietal expression.
The blended wine is then matured in spicy Allier (French) oak half new, half once-used. Bottling takes place 18-24 months later.
The quantity of “Baroness” each year is totally dependent on the yield of GLA Merlot plantings. In 2000 there was insufficient to make any “Baroness” at all.
“The Baroness” is a wine of great style, character and complexity, showing the Merlot with Cabernets blended at its best. Rich, plummy, violets, leafiness, spicy oak over sumptuous flavour – full reward on the palate with a huge finish of fruit, then soft abundant tannins.
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