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Dominique Portet- The Man, the Vision, the Story

The Portet family boasts ten consecutive generations of winemaking that began in Bordeaux in the 18th century. Today, the Portet name is most closely associated with the Yarra Valley where father and son team Dominique and Ben Portet, respectively ninth and tenth generation winemakers, run a successful family winery.

Dominique Portet's French lineage dates back to 1720 and the family's sale of eaux de vie to the Martell family. Several generations later his father Andre' Portet bacame regisseur (vineyard and winery manager) of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac.

Dominique's own training bagan at one of the world's most illustrious red wine estates. He qualified at the Montpellier University in oenology and during a compulsory year of military service became the legion's wine purchasing adviser, responsible for soldier's daily wine ration. Further enhancing his qualifications, Dominique spent vintages in the Medoc, the Rhone Valley, Provence and with world Champagne giant, Moet Chandon.

Subsequently Dominique joined his brother Bernard at Clos du Val in California's Napa Valley, where he spent three vintages, a period that coincided with his New World search for vineyards to equal his native Bordeaux. That quest ultimately let to the establishment of two distinguished labels- Taltarnin 1976 in the Victorian Pyrenees, and later Clover Hill in Northeast Tasmania.

Cab Sauv Bottle
 code 851147

Dominique Portet Cabernet Sauvignon


Fruit from the superb 2012 season was grown on a single vineyard at Steels creek in Yarra Valley. It's warm, steep westfacing slope of scattered sandstone fragments over a clay base. The vines are 15-20 years old and crop levels are kept to about 1.5 tonnes per acre. The hungry soils, mature vines and low yeilds make for relatively dense Cabernet and great Longevity.


Its vital to pick at the perfect time to get the structure we're looking for: ripe tannins and good acidity for elegant wine with a richness that makes it accessible when young. The key factor in achieving purity was our sorting line, which entirely eliminated green stalks, unripe and overripe fruit to give a wine with focus and concentration. We picked the fruit by hand, de-stemmed and gently crushed it and gave it three day cold soak. After fermentation we left the wine on the skins for three weeks to develop softness and complexity. It was the aged for 15 months in French oak (40% New).


The wine is bright crimsson purple, with dark cherries and red fruit undertones on the nose. It feels round and lush in the mouth with the cracked black pepper freshness that signals it yarra Valley origins. It has focus, depth and balance and is  deliciously drinkable. Like all great Cabernet Sauvignon, it will evolve gracefully with time. It goes beautifully with Osso Bucco and we love it with good cheese after a meal-think Roquefort or Camembert.

Released November 2013
Alcohol 13.5%
Code 727538

Fontaine Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2011

Tasting note

DOMINIQUE PORTET  "FONTAINE" SHIRAZ CABERNET MERLOT 2011 is a moreish approachable triple varietal blend with light red cherry aromatics and a delicate floral lift that leads to modulated mid-weight yet soft full-fruited and lingering palate. A drink now style that will age in the medium term - should it remain until then in the cellar.


Crafted from three red varieties- Shiraz (50%) Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) and Merlot (20 %) sourced respectively from two regions. The vertical shoot positioned (VSP) trellised Shiraz grew on red quartz soils in the Pyrenees, and the latter two varieties on meticulously managed grey loam vineyards in the Yarra Valley


All three varieties were handpicked, de-stemmed and gently crushed before undergoing a three day cold soak. After fermentation the wines were left on the skins for two weeks, prior to racking and maturation in a mix of oak barrels, 20% of which are new, and stainless steel(20% of the total blend). The individual varital batches of this vibrant blend were kept separate until the final blend was assembled in February 2012.

Released April 2012
alc/vol 13% pH 3.56