TASTING AND TECHNICAL NOTES
The aim was to produce a savoury wine from a blend of several white grape varieties, to use the natural attributes of the varieties rather than winemaking magic to give complexity and structure. Pinot Gris to provide pear flavour and savouriness, Riesling for acidity and minerality, Chardonnay for palate weight, and Sauvignon Blanc to enliven the palate. The splash of Aleatico heightens the aroma senses of this unique wine.
An evolving floral scent with savoury aromatics overlying a full, yet balanced structure. The palate is dominated by ripe grape flavours and a fine body, complemented by acid on the front of the palate and a savoury fullness on the middle palate.
The vineyard (560 metres elevation) was established in the Hilltops region of NSW in the 1970s. The vines were trained to a bilateral spur-pruned cordon, dry-grown and low yielding. The 15-metre deep soils are derived from speckled dog granite, which over time has combined with red, wind-blown sand and silt from Australia’s Red Centre. This fine silt has formed a clay layer at a depth of one metre. The soils are both well structured and drained, which allows the vines to establish roots to a depth of several metres.
The start of the 2007 growing season was dry and the vines struggled and stopped growing at flowering in November, so setting a limited number of small bunches. The vines were watered from a tank to maintain some canopy with the encroaching drought. A warm summer hastened ripening until cool autumn nights slowed the development of the grapes and allowed the delicate flavours to evolve. The yields were less than 500 kg per ha but the small berries intensified the flavours.
The philosophy of the fermentation is to develop a wine style reminiscent of the northern Italian wines that are complex and savoury, while also retaining characteristic Australian fruit-driven flavour. The grapes were gently pressed and cold fermented to retain grape aroma. The wine was settled and bottled early to retain these complex aromas.