NGERINGA Syrah 2010
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 brooding wine with layers of complexity on the nose. Black cherries,
fennel root, pepper, subtle dark chocolate and an edge of graphite and slate.
To taste, the wine has the flavours of blueberries and the dark-skinned prune
plum Erinn’s grandmother used to make Schewetche
Kuchen in Germany. Spiced with white pepper, cloves, nutmeg. The clean,
lingering palate evolves with ripe, full, powdery tannins.
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.
2010 growing season was a kinder one than previous with a wet, cool spring
following a mild winter of average rainfall. A cool start to September however
halted voracious growth and delayed budburst of the Rhone varietals. A thick harvest of hay was cut in early
November thanks to the good spring rains. The onset of summer brought with it
the usual heat spikes with the last this year being early February. The few
weeks leading in to harvest were ideal, warm even days with cool nights typical
of the Mt Barker Summit. The fruit ripened steadily and easily, and harvest
began the last week of February. Of note for us was the absence of LBAM or
weevil damage. The fruit across the vineyard was in excellent condition and was
generous in quantity. It was a year for wines of gentle fragrance, politely
spoken flavours and defined structure.