The fruit comes from our Wallcliffe, Trinders and Crossroads vineyards. The typical soils of these vineyards are geologically ancient, free draining sandy loams with a high percentage of lateritic gravel. The vines are now fully dry grown and, early in the season, manually thinned and leafed to expose the fruit.Picking decisions are made by taste only; picking is by hand in small batches.
The preceding winter gave healthy rains, replenishing soil moisture levels which led into a milder spring with higher than average rainfall levels. Flowering in all varieties was delayed by 10 days compared to 2016, with wonderful sunshine giving excellent set (fruitful flowers into berries) and thus great crop potential across all varieties. With a mild summer, punctuated by only a few hot days, veraison (colouring and softening of berries) came three weeks later than 2016 giving one of the latest yet highest quality vintages on record. The later ripening gave excellent tannin and colour development and we picked our first cabernet on April 15th and the first shiraz on April 28th
The fruit is 100% destemmed and lightly
crushed to a combination of open and closed
fermenters of between 120kg to 2.5 tonne
capacity. The ferments proceed with wild
yeast and operations are decided day by
day without recipe to optimize potential and
complexity. Post fermentation macerations
are long- up to 120 days- to develop silky
tannin structures before light basket pressing.
Malolactic fermentation takes place in French
oak barriques (5% new), the wine aged on
lees (yeast sediment) for 16 months and then
blended and bottled.
14.3% alcohol, 5.63 g/l total acidity, 3.64 pH