NGERINGA Syrah 2009
on a westerly facing slope on the immediate foothills of the Mt Barker Summit
at 420m altitude, the soil of the Illuma vineyard sparkles with micaceous
schist amidst a shallow sandy loam over clay. A challenging viticultural site
with the potential for very distinctive wines.
A garnet wine with deep aromas of roasted coffee beans, cured game meats, forest undergrowth and toffee. A complex spiced-fruit palate of plum sauce and blueberries with generous additions of cinnamon and allspice. Characteristically plush, powdery tannic structure and a weightiness in the mouth. Finishes long, dry and savoury.
Minimal whole bunch or stalks included in fermentation. The wine spent from 14 to 28 days on skins. Nearly 2 years of ‘elevage’ in French Oak barriques and puncheons with one racking after the first year. Approximately 30% new French oak used.
Wild fermentation, no enzymes, oxidative handling pre-fermentation, reserved use of oak barrels, spontaneous malolactic fermentation, gentle extraction, warmer fermentation, minimal and rare temperature control. Minimal fining. Estate bottled. Small amounts of sulphites added before bottling.
2009 growing season started dry with little spring rain. Early summer rain
tried to make amends, however that was easily forgotten as the summer months
continued with only a few millimetres of natural rainfall. For NGERINGA luckily
we can supplement our requirements with good quality bore water to sustain the
vines during the driest periods and minimise stress to the plants which can
have negative effects on quality.
Statistically, with small vines and a philosophy of low cropping levels,
our water consumption is well below the average. Our approach to irrigation is never with a
goal of achieving higher yields. Unlike 2008 where the spike of intense heat
came right at the beginning of harvest, this year it came in mid February when
the vines were just preparing themselves for their final ripening phase. Despite heat leading up to harvest the vines
kept their health and fruit was harvested in beautiful condition with high
www.winecompanion.com.au 21 Feb
decidedly savoury bouquet of leather, spice, geranium and tar; the palate is
firm and mineral driven, with tarry notes the dominant theme on the finish.