This wine is our first foray into Viognier. The aim was to respect the natural richness the variety has to offer whilst not overplaying any single character of the wine. The fruit was fully ripened and careful hand selection was carried out to ensure that exposed fruit was not picked (the variety has enough phenolic character as it is). This allowed the fruit to sit perfectly with the new oak, with the oak providing supporting complexity and tannic structure. The wine displays classic Viognier exotic aromatics of apricots and floral spices, with some nutty oak nuances poking through. As expected the palate is rich and textural, but not overpowering and in perfect balance with its acid and oak profile.
Tasting notes (PDF download)
With a relatively mild winter and above average spring rainfall the vines entered the season with good soil moisture resulting in strong growth and good fruit set. This above average fruit set combined with strong canopies allowed steady ripening in white varieties enabling harvest to commence in late February and finishing mid March. The cool evenings and lack of extreme heat saw excellent flavour development in all white varieties. A small period of above average temperature just prior to Riesling harvest meant that care needed to be taken to reduce phenolic uptake. Acid retention and flavour balance was a particular feature of Chardonnay this year, with the aromatic varieties (Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc in particular) showing excellent definition of character.
Fruit was hand harvested, chilled overnight and whole bunch pressed to minimise phenolic extraction. Only the free run fraction (525L/T) was used for this wine and fermented in 2/3 new tight grain French Oak and 1/3 stainless steel tank. The barrel ferments were allowed to proceed naturally where possible and ferment temperature controlled to 15-17 °C; the tank portion was fermented cold at 12-14 °C. All parcels were fined separately then blended according to taste.
Residual Sugar: <1.9g/L
Date picked: 3 April 2014