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2016 Blue Cutting Road Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Tasting Notes

In the late 1890's the Blue Cutting Road was hand dug by Polish settlers whilst waiting for gainful employment. Blue Cutting Road is situated in the area known today as the Polish Hill River region of the Clare Valley. Not only does this road remain a usable summer bush track connecting two main roads, it dissects the two vineyards that provide valuable, flavoursome fruit for a range of O'Leary Walker wines. Much of the settlers' influences have filtered throughout the beautiful Clare Valley and many of the fruits of their labours are still evident today. We pay homage to their enduring qualities with this wine. 




Clare Valley


Polish Hill River


Cabernet Sauvignon 75% Merlot 25%


Martin & Joan Smith’s vineyard stands as an excellent example of what this sub-region of Clare can achieve. Quality soils are the thumb print of all great wines and as the road leading to both vineyards is called Blue Cutting Rd, so too is the basis of these vineyards. Grey loam acid soils over sandstone and slate make up the profile with much of the top soil littered with rock, hinting at just how tough the vines need to be to sustain growth and produce quality fruit - not to mention the work of the vigneron to ensure overall balance. 2012 marked the first year of NASAA Organic Certification for these vineyards.


These varieties are blended at the crusher. Small batch ferment in two and four tonne fermenters over a twelve day period using natural yeast and hand plunged. The wine was left on skins for fifteen days to enhance tannin complexity maximising flavour and length. Pressed to tank then racked to oak after four days (25% new French oak; 75% one and two year old French oak) for a total of two years.


pH 3.40 TA 6.8 ALC 14.5%


Nick Walker, David O'Leary


Deep red with purple hues.


Complex red berry fruits with rich cedar and cinnamon spice.


Mulberry and raspberry fruits dominate with great balance and length structure. 

Food Match

Braised saltbush lamb shanks with rosemary potatoes.


Drink now or be rewarded by careful cellaring, 6 to 8 years. 


Merlot is used in this blend to fill out the mid-palate with plummy freshness and juiciness. The result is a wine with intense fruit expression and length of flavour.





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