By Nick Brown, winemaker/director


The All Saints Estate Pierre was first made in 2004 for release in 2005, in time for the sixtieth birthday of our dad, Peter Brown. Dad always loved Cabernet Sauvignon (and Cabernet blends) and thought the variety should have equal share of the limelight which Shiraz receives. It was meant to be a ‘one-off’ wine for our wine club members and cellar door, but its instant popularity meant we decided to continue making it and have done so each year since.

 

The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from All Saints, Cabernet Franc from St Leonards and Merlot from All Saints. These three varieties are commonly blended together in the Bordeaux region of France. Each parcel of fruit is picked, then fermented separately in our old open concrete, wax-lined fermenters, before being hand-plunged and then shovelled into the 1870s basket press.

 

Each of the three parcels of wine spends around 24 months in French oak barriques (30% new) in one of the underground cellars or in the temperature-controlled barrel store. A few months before bottling, a bench trial blending exercise is done to find what percentage of each variety will be used to make up the final wine. Each year is different, and the percentages of each wine are rarely the same from one year to the next; however, the largest component is always Cabernet Sauvignon followed by Cabernet Franc, and the smallest component it usually Merlot. During the bench trial, I see the Cabernet Sauvignon having the structure and tannin and the Cabernet Franc and Merlot contributing juicy plumpness to the mid-palate. As with all blends, the intention is to make something which is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

One of Dad’s friends used to call him Pierre. We thought it was a nice fit and it also ties in with the French heritage of the three varieties. If you haven’t tasted the wine for a while, please do next time you visit the winery.