A fine balance between sweet fruit and fine structural tannin. Bright, dark berry flavours give the wine depth and generosity with dusty tannins holding it together. Oak adds a lovely char and spice elements to this wine of power and elegance.
The key to producing St Hugo is the vineyard in the selection process. Each Coonawarra vineyard was carefully monitored as ripening progressed and only those parcels exhibiting excellent potential in terms of colour, varietal expression and tannin structure were set aside as candidates for inclusion in the St Hugo blend. All grapes delivered to the winery were de-stemmed and crushed into static fermenters.
Extraction of colour, flavour and tannin was achieved by “pumping over” regularly, allowing the fermenting juice to percolate through the skins. Full drain and returns were also employed at various stages through fermentation to help build structured yet supple tannin profiles. Once optimum colour, flavour and tannin extraction were achieved, the young wines were drained from the skins; the skins were then pressed, and the pressings fractions returned to the free-run. Malolactic fermentation and 22 months’ maturation took place in 55% new French oak and 7% new American oak hogsheads, with balance in a mix of used oak. Tasting of individual parcels revealed those that showed the distinctive regional and varietal characteristics required for St Hugo, and these were used to create the final blend. The wine was matured for an additional 14 months in bottled prior to release to allow the wine to integrate further.