"Almost too drinkable and too easy… there's really not much left!”- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
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. Macerated with only gentle hand plunging. Only three weeks on skins in a warm ferment. Aged in one six-year-old French barrique for 12 months.
Wild fermentation, no enzymes, oxidative handling pre-fermentation, spontaneous malolactic fermentation, gentle extraction, warmer fermentation, minimal temperature control. No fining. Estate bottled. Small amounts of sulphites added before bottling.
2014 was a year of dramatic, record-book extremes right across Australia. In South Australia and up into the Adelaide Hills we saw the second highest annual mean temperatures on record. From October rainfalls were significantly lower than average and by December the mercury was rising, resulting for an early bud set in the vineyards. January brought intense heat waves across the state, with five days in Adelaide registering above 42ºC. Hot days and warmer than average nights brought about an early veraison, though as ever, cooling breezes from Lake Alexandrina did what they could to minimise our evening temperatures, in particular, sparing us the worst of the extremes. As February arrived, the whole equation was to change. Intense storms at the beginning and middle of the month brought gale force winds and intense rainfalls, with over 100mm of rain falling between the 13th and 14th and bringing the hot, dry conditions to a thundering halt. While the cooler temperatures and wetter soils slowed ripening across many of the later varieties, the earlier ripeners were already well on their way to harvest. The outcome of the wild conditions was an uncommonly long vintage with each varietal requiring careful consideration to ensure optimal flavour at harvest.