Ngeringa Tempranillo 2016
“Love a good cigar? You’ll love this wine!”- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
Deep, rich, spirit-transporting aromas of Christmas pudding, charred meat and sweet, Montechristo cigars. Every vintage with this wine is a lesson in the power of the varietal – mouthfilling, rustic, mulberry flavours very much in the vein of a good Ribera del Duero. Rounded but with serious tannic structure and amazing concentration. You really cannot keep a good Tempranillo down.
Grown on a steep westerly facing slope of the Rufus Vineyard at about 360m above sea level on a rocky red ironstone and schist over clay. Quite a challenging vineyard site – facing west, it receives the belting summer sun and often is exposed to characteristic winds of the Adelaide Hills. From the top of this vineyard in the distance, however, one can see Lake Alexandrina and the mouth of the Murray River, consequently receiving cooling evening breezes, which do much to preserve fruit acids and flavours through the critical weeks of ripening. Only 360 vines planted.
100% destemmed. A short, 10-day maceration before pressing to a single barrel of old, season French oak.
Wild fermentation, no enzymes, spontaneous malolactic fermentation, gentle extraction, warmer fermentation, minimal temperature control. No fining. Estate bottled. Small amounts of sulphites added before bottling.
2016 was a dry, hot vintage from the outset with only periodic respite. Promising rains in July and August of 2015 gave way quickly to an extremely dry spring and above-average temperatures, with essentially none of the seasonal rains we rely upon from October through much of January. On the bright side, despite conditions at flowering, we had a better-than-ever fruit set that was consistent across all varieties. And then, just as vintage was becoming visible on the horizon, the miracle came: a perfectly-timed, drenching rainstorm hit South Australia on January 21 & 22, refreshing the vines in a way irrigation just cannot match. A second significant rain event in the first few days of February ensured that the vintage was saved. The harvest was very early, beginning in the middle of February, but not nearly as early as it would have been and the fruit was thoroughly revived. The result was higher-than-average yields, good acidity, moderate concentration and balanced, approachable wines. Winegrowing is rarely for the feint of heart!