This is a luscious style of wine. The Botrytis influence adds intrigue and complexity to the intense aromatics of Apricot and nutty flavours of very ripe, concentrated Viognier grapes. The low(ish) alcohol helps the palate cope with the overt sweetness and this is balanced from the supporting high acidity that is characteristic of grapes affected by Botrytis. It is not a wine for the faint hearted, the flavours are intense and powerful; but would make a wonderful accompaniment to complex dessert dishes.
Tasting notes (PDF download)
2016 was one of the most varied vintages in years for the Southern regions in WA. An early budburst followed by a relatively hot dry spring and mild summer, saw early flowering and fruit set. Every indication was for one of the earliest and quickest vintages on record. Some sparkling fruit was received late January which is our earliest ever fruit intake. Heavy rain mid January and the onset of cold night temperatures slowed sugar accumulation but in turn helped flavour development. Crop levels were up on 2015, but still relatively low. Selection of picking date and fastidious vineyard management was crucial in 2016 with narrow ripening windows and some disease pressure. Riesling was exceptional for this 2016 vintage.
In the true essence of its namesake this wine is very experimental in nature. Taking naturally ripened Viognier as far as the vine will allow and then freezing the hand-picked grapes for 7 days at minus 15°C. This freezing process concentrates the sugar in the grapes and, more importantly, concentrates the flavour compounds in the resulting juice. Only 350L per tonne is extracted and the grapes must be pressed twice as they are basically solid lumps of ice. This vintage saw considerable ‘noble rot’ Botrytis infection which added further complexity of flavour. The goal with this style of wine is to find the balance of flavour, acidity, alcohol and sugar of this amazingly concentrated juice.
Residual Sugar: 250g/L
Date picked: 22nd April 2016