The grapes are sourced from our Estate vineyards and our long term contract growers in the Margaret River region. Gravel laterite soils predominate in most of the best vineyards with some sandy loam soils in others. A range of canopy management strategies are employed, all with the objective of maximising sunlight into the fruiting zone. The most favoured technique is vertical shoot positioning with leaf removal which improves sunlight exposure, enhancing flavour development and providing a balanced leaf to fruit ratio for even ripening. Irrigation is used judiciously to maintain balanced vine growth and a steady rate of ripening.
Spring began with enough rain in the soil to ensure that the vines got off to a good start. Sunny, mild to warm weather from flowering through to berry set gave the promise of good yields, helped along by unusualy light winds. Temperatures were below average for the entire season with no day getting hotter than 35oC. The odd shower kept vine growth vigorous up until November, after which there was hardly any rainfall at all until 20mm of rain fell on 9 March. Most of our whites were harvested under ideal conditions in early March before the first rain.
Our minimal approach to vinification of this blend is geared to maximising fruit flavour with a distinctive regional nuance. Fruit is machine harvested at night to ensure that it arrives at the winery in cool condition. A small amount of S02 and pectolytic enzyme is added. to aid in settling, before crushing/destemming and transfer through a must chiller to a tank press. The juice is gently expressed from the skins with a yield of only 650 litres/tonne, with the other 100 litres/tonne kept separate. The juice is racked off gross lees and fermented at 14°C in stainless steel tanks with 15% of the blend fermented in new American oak barrels and the left on lees for ten weeks. All batches are fined and filtered before blending the batches judged to be the best. The wine was bottled in August 2005.
13.7 %v/v Alcohol, 7.2 gram/litre acid, pH 3.35, and 33/135 ppm SO2.