"Our richest Altus to date, with stunning balance of aromatic expression and rancio characters. It takes us back to the cellars of Tuscany.”- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
A wine inspired by the traditional Tuscan Vin Santo, a divine oxidative style dessert wine. Made from estate-grown NGERINGA fruit, predominantly Viognier with our small quantities of Gewertztraminer and Pinot Gris. All the grapes are very gently hand harvested, placed on drying racks previously used by Jurlique for drying herbs, and left to more than double their sugar concentration from about 13 to around 30 degrees Baume by process of dehydration.
The grapes were picked at a low Baum and dehydrated on racks for four weeks, then pressed and in an old French 228L Barrique and left to ferment and oxidatively mature without topping for five years. Traditionally in the making of Vin Santo the bung is cemented in and the barrels are neither topped nor even opened for 4 to 5 years. Although we do not cement the bungs as we like to follow the wines progress during its time in barrel, the barrel does remain un-topped. A wine of the saints!
Wild fermentation, spontaneous malolactic fermentation, no temperature control. No fining. Estate bottled.
The 2011 growing season was marked across the Adelaide Hills region by heavy rains and subsequently high disease pressure. NGERINGA was fortunate to weather the difficulties well with reduced yields but lovely fruit displaying characteristic cool-climate textures and flavours. Winter 2010 set in early and cold with frequent, drenching rains filling dams and delaying the onset of the growing season. Spring and early summer remained uncommonly cool, punctuated by periods of rain requiring prudent canopy management and yield reduction. The summer heat was all but non-existent other than a brief spell towards the end of January. Instead, days were often sunny but frequently no more than warm, with the evenings consistently cool. Ripening maintained a slow, steady pace resulting in harvest being set back by nearly a month. In the end, the wines of this difficult vintage are a testament to the hardiness of the vines: textural, tight, racy and aromatic. Our vigilance was rewarded.