As treacherous as it is beautiful, Western Australia’s rugged southwest coastline is littered with shipwrecks – the wreck of the Ringbolt being one of them. Sunk in the late 1800s in what is now known as Ringbolt Bay, located on the southern tip of the Margaret River wine region, adjacent to Cape Leeuwin.
It is at Ringbolt Bay where the Southern and Indian Oceans merge and their invigorating waters lap at the edge of the Margaret River wine region.
Around 1920, the WA and UK governments established a Group Settlement Scheme for people seeking a new and better life in unchartered lands in Western Australia. The scheme was set up to establish a dairy farming industry and encourage people to make the journey to Western Australia through land grants in the Margaret River region.
Faced with the prospect of living in extremely tough conditions, most of the settlers despaired and moved away – but a few remained and were the forefathers of the Margaret River wine region.
Vineyards were first planted in Margaret River in the 19th century but disappeared in the early 20th century as the markets looked elsewhere.
The development of Margaret River as it exists today was largely due to Dr John S Gladstones. In 1965 Dr Gladstones emphasised the region's suitability on his report "The Climate and Soils of Southern WA in relation to Vine Growing", in which he said:
“...it has distinct advantages over both those areas [Manjimup and Mt. Barker], and indeed over all other Australian vine districts with comparable temperature summations...” and Margaret River was reborn.
Defined by the oceans, the Margaret River region enjoys a temperate, maritime climate with high winter rainfall and pristine, robust sea breezes to cool the precious fruit – wonderful conditions for growing superior Cabernet Sauvignon.
The name Ringbolt honours the heritage of the Margaret River wine region. “Hold them fast, work them hard, build a heritage" pays homage to the beginnings of the Margaret River wine region and the colonial hardship which has made it what it is today. It reminds us of the countless years of hardship endured by the settlers and their strength, tenacity and commitment to making a go of the potential opportunity afforded to them.
Longstanding relationships with local premium grape growers in the Cowaramup area of the Margaret River wine region provide the fruit that Winemaker Heather Fraser develops into this world class Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.
Finely structured, beautifully balanced and showing great harmony of characters, Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon consistently combines elegance with power. The ring.bolt Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine example of these qualities. This is a wine that can be enjoyed now, particularly with an aged cheddar or Parmesan cheese, or will also age gracefully in the medium term.
In a very short period of time, Margaret River has established an enviable reputation for its excellent wines. Surrounded by forest, farmland and sea, the region enjoys the attributes of a mild maritime climate, rich soil and fresh winds from the vast, unpolluted Indian and Southern oceans. The environment allows the grapes to grow relatively free from pests and diseases.
The vineyards of Margaret River are planted on gravel loam soils, which, together with prevailing summer sea breezes and temperate conditions during the ripening period, provide for the development of complex varietal characters and aromas.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the Margaret River region's most highly acclaimed variety. Finely structured, beautifully balanced and showing great harmony of characters, Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon combines elegance with strength.
Deep magenta in colour. Intense aromas showing a meld of blueberry, musk, forest leaf litter and a touch of star anise. The palate opens with fresh red fruits building on a platform of ripe grape tannins to a savoury spice finish. The wine is outstanding now and with careful cellaring will improve over the next 10 years.
Deep with a bold crimson red colour and purple tints. The nose has rich aromas of black cherries and cassis, with forest floor characters to finish. The wine opens with a lively and intense blackberry compote, progressing to rich dark chocolate characters and finishing with succulent tannins that continue the experience long after the wine has left your mouth. Enjoy now or cellar for eight to ten years.
Ringbolt Winemaker Heather Fraser has seen more of Australia than most, having grown up on army bases around the country.
After graduating from a degree in marine biology and chemistry, Heather moved to the Barossa where she naturally grew curious about winemaking.
Heather completed a degree at Charles Sturt University in 2003 and worked as an assistant winemaker for the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. She gradually progressed to the role of Winemaker, with a strong passion for sustainability and organic wines.
Working extensively in Coonawarra and Wrattonbully vineyards has given Heather an intimate understanding of premium Cabernet Sauvignon and outstanding red winemaking experience and skills.
Having always taken a meticulous approach to her winemaking, Heather believes in attention to detail at every stage. From harvesting at optimal ripeness and fruit flavour, barrel maturation and to continuing to monitor the wine once in bottle - ensuring they are released only at their most enjoyable.
"...ring.bolt is a great opportunity to continue my love for Cabernet Sauvignon and to build my understanding of this great region."