84% Malbec and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon
The fourth release of Le Rayon V, which is only bottled in exceptional years. A violet flash (in French, ‘rayon violet’) is a rare phenomenon that may be observed at sunset only under very clear conditions. It is caused by the selective atmospheric refraction of sunlight at the horizon, so that shorter light wavelengths are the last to be seen as the sun disappears. The 19th Century French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, an imbiber of note, uses the term in his intriguing work, Voyelles.
Sourced from the old, dry grown Colline-Forêt vineyard west of Mount Barker, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon were destemmed into small open vessels for fermentation by ambient yeasts and worked only by hand plunging. After extended maceration, it was drained to new and seasoned French oak for fourteen months’ maturation.
700 bottles made.
Savoury dark fruits, floral spice and herbal notes alight as the wine opens up in the glass. The oak influence is discreet; this is all about fruit and earth, mineral site expression, concentration with restraint. It will age beautifully.
“This is a pretty intense, slick textured red, but it keeps you fascinated, involved, diving back into your glass to check the perfume, get the texture, feel the concentration... There’s lavender, cassis, liquorice, dark chocolate and plum in perfume, a similar array of things in the medium-to-just-fuller weight, slightly sticky textured palate. Tannins are drying-paint-tacky, slightly savoury with black olive tapenade-like feel. It’s a compelling wine here. Cabernet fanciers will be very well served. Next level from this release too.” 94+ points. Mike Bennie, Wine Front