One of the most exciting wines we’ve made at Castelli. The Rhone Valley clone 470 is vastly different, aromatically and structurally to the standard Australian clones. An amazingly fragrant nose, coaxed along from whole bunch and co-fermentation that shows characters of spiced plums and nectarine with overlaid dark chocolate orange. The aromatic is a little beguiling as the palate carries deceptive weight and power throughout, with support from fine grained, savoury tannins. We have refrained from fining or filtering this wine so that it expresses raw beauty. With a wine of this structure you would expect it to age gracefully over the next 10-15 years.
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, in fact some Sparkling fruit was received in late January which is our earliest ever fruit intake. However heavy rain mid-January and onset of cold night time 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 and Chardonnay were exceptional and Frankland River reds were the pick of the harvest.
The majority of the fruit was harvested in the cool of the night to prevent oxidation and retention of flavour, whilst approximately 20% was hand-picked for whole bunch (carbonic maceration) inclusion. The wine was also co-fermented with whole bunch clusters of Viognier. Fermentation was conducted in a converted insulated open top milk vat that enables consistency of fermentation temperature. After seven days cold soak the ferment was hand plunged twice daily and pressed at dryness. The wine was matured in French Oak Barriques, of which 40% was new (Sirugue and D’Aquitaine).
Residual Sugar: <1g/L
Date picked: 22nd March 2016