As a child Chester had a cat named Non Alcoholic Booze, which the family shortened to Booze when they discovered that he enjoyed red wine. The concerned Osborn family refused to let him drink it, so consequently Booze lived a frustrated life, suffering from a monumental case of Cenocilicaphobia (the fear of an empty glass).
Patience is a virtue, plenty of which has been required waiting for the release of our second vintage of The Cenosilicaphobic Cat. The 2007 was met with rapturous support, the small volume selling out quickly. For those who have been anticipating the 2009, the wait has been worth it. Five and a half years of gentle nurturing has ensured that upon release this wine displays a raft of vibrant primary flavours suitably accompanied by more developed, complex characters.
The nose is awash with punchy red currants and liquorice, supported by a whiff of leather and hint of dried prune and fig. The influence of the Cinsault on the final blend is evidenced through subtle lavender and spicy aromas.
The palate is marked by an incredible line of acid and tannin, vibrant and grippy, akin to crunching into fresh pomegranate seeds. Quite linear in nature but with a moreish rhubarb like sweetness that endeavours to tame the graphite like astringency. This wine is unapologetically all about structure, exhibiting an abundance of tannin, but the tannins are so fine and layered that they leave your mouth watering and will have you going back for more.
Sufficient winter rains ensured good sub soil moisture and set up the vines well with healthy canopies. Early summer was very cool with only three days above 30°C until late in January. There was a string of days above 40°C in late January which caused some loss of yield of the final crop. The mild weather that followed ensured that ripening was stress free and grapes showed good levels of natural acidity and balanced tannins.
Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of old French and American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, and there is no racking until final blending. The Cenosilicaphobic Cat does not undertake fining or filtration prior to bottling.
Quite simply, this is the definition of a food wine!