FREEMAN RONDINELLA CORVINA 2002
An evolving scent of dried cherries with savoury aromatics overlying blackberry fruit aromas. A ‘brooding’ palate structure has an initial impact of firmness and length evolving with time and food to express ripe, fine tannins balanced with acid on the front of the palate and fruit flavour fullness on the middle palate. This persistent tannin structure will support graceful ageing for many years.
The vineyard (560 metres elevation) was established in the Hilltops region of NSW in 1999. The vines were trained to a bilateral spur-pruned cordon and the canopy vertically shoot positioned. The first crop was removed to facilitate vine development leading to the initial vintage in 2002. The 15-metre deep soils are derived from speckled dog granite 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 1-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 2002 growing season was cool and wet so the vines grew vigorously and set large bunches necessitating shoot and bunch thinning. Cool nights during ripening slowed the development of the grapes. The harvest of the grapes destined for drying started on 24 March. The remainder of the grapes were harvested two weeks later.
The philosophy of the fermentation is to develop a wine style reminiscent of the traditional Italian Amarone red wines that is complex and savoury while also retaining characteristic Australian fruit-driven flavour.
Part of the crop was dried on prune racks and then mixed with the fresh, undried grapes. All the grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The cap was managed by pumping over and the wines pressed when fermentation was complete. The wine went through malolactic fermentation and was then aged in five- to eight-year-old barrels before bottling in spring 2003