As with the previous vintages of Il Liris, the aim when selecting barrels for the final wine was to look for those providing the best balance of structure and fruit weight, with structure being the foremost criterion. Again Cabernet is the dominant variety, however, we have used a significantly larger proportion of Shiraz this year as the low cropping season produced more intense tannin structure in the Shiraz. The purity of Cabernet fruit expression shines through with the Shiraz bringing an earthy spiciness and mid-palate richness, with its plush tannins playing a supportive role to the layered Cabernet backbone. The Malbec from this year was particularly good, providing a tannin and colour boost; helping to accentuate the vibrant varietal characters. It is a wine that provides an eclectic mix of complexity and fruit power with each mouthful where every return to the glass provides something new. This powerfully structured, well-balanced wine will age well over the next 10-15 years.
Tasting notes (PDF download)
2017 was a vintage slow to get out of the blocks. A cool and overcast spring meant slow ripening with amazing fruit flavours and zingy natural acids. Constant rain periods then meant everyone had to be on high alert for fungal diseases and picking was sometimes dictated by incoming rain events. Crop levels were up after perfect flowering conditions, necessitating that some fruit needed to be thinned to maintain intense fruit and high quality. Like 2016, Riesling and Chardonnay were outstanding and the Frankland River reds enormous and juicy.
The fruit underwent Pre-fermentation cold soaking for 10 days followed by a clean, warm (25-30°C) ferment. Maceration was via twice daily pump-overs (using specialized gentle tannin extraction method) also 3 x rack-returns during ferment. Yeast strains used were Clos and RC212. Total time on skins was 23 days for Cabernet, 16 days for Shiraz and Malbec which allowed for tannin development and balance. All red barrels in the winery were tasted and assessed to achieve the best vintage blend. Approximately 75% of the selected barrels were from new French oak, with the remainder one year old.
Residual Sugar: <1g/L
Date picked: 31st March 2016 (Cabernet)
Date picked: 16th March 2016 (Shiraz)
Date picked: 9th April 2016 (Malbec)