Named ‘Winery of the Year’ by James Halliday and Matt Skinner, Larry Cherubino wants his wines to be distinctive and to speak clearly of their variety and vineyard site. He believes in paying meticulous attention to the vineyard, canopy and water management, picking at the right time and minimal intervention in the winery. Larry also makes wine under the Laissez Faire label, an exquisite range of natural wines which are the ultimate expression of site, made in small batches from hand harvested grapes. From delicate whites to opulent reds, all his wines have pure class and finesse.
The 2014 warm summer cooled off in April allowing fruit to ripen at a leisurely pace. Frankland River had an outstanding, above average rainfall during the winter and spring months. Exceptional conditions in spring allowed gentle warming for fruit set, with warm, dry days through to April resulting in excellent quality yields with incredibly fresh and vibrant juice.
The grapes were grown in the Riversdale Vineyard in Frankland River in Western Australia. The vines were planted between 1996 and 1998 at a density of 1,650 vines per hectare. The vines are Houghton clones and are planted on their own rootstocks with a southerly aspect. Frankland River soils are chiefly iron rich lateric gravelly or sandy loams derived from granite or gneissic rocks and are typically red in colour with a uniform depth. Some areas carry loams derived from the native Marri and Karri eucalyptus forests. The river valley is a major influence and responsible for cool airflow. The average growing temperatures are very mild and the warm days are moderated by the ‘Albany Doctor’ - a sea breeze from the Southern Ocean. The grapes were harvested in April 2014 when they had reached 13° Baumé.
The fruit was hand-harvested and transported to the winery where it was cooled overnight and carefully manually sorted. A maceration took place at temperatures ranging from 12 to 27°C and lasted for six weeks, with minimal pump overs. The wine was pressed to tank and allowed to settle for seven days prior to oak maturation. A range of coopers were used in this wine’s development to impart complexity to the wine.
Inky black, with strong, classic bay leaf and earthy Cabernet Sauvignon tones. Integrated oak neatly frames the intense fruit. This is focussed and textured, with very fine tannins.