"2012 Altus is as rich and concentrated as ever."- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
Caramel coloured in the glass with scents of fresh beeswax field flowers and marmalade. On the palate there is an exotic mix of mangos and pawpaw. A purposely decadent, rich flavour but balanced with firm acidity. Fabulous length. A complete dessert in a glass. 375ml.
Inspired by wines tasted during our travels through Tuscany, this is a divine oxidative style dessert wine.
Made from estate-grown NGERINGA fruit, predominantly Viognier with our small quantities of Gewürztraminer 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 Baumé by process of dehydration.
The grapes were picked at a low Baumé and dehydrated on racks for six weeks, then pressed over several days into an old French barrique Left to ferment and oxidatively mature without topping for five years.
Traditionally in the making of this type of dessert wine 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.
It was pre-ordained that the 2012 growing season would be described in contrast to the more difficult year that preceded it. This vintage started with a cold winter and below average rains, but with our dams sufficiently filled, we had little concern. A cool, mostly dry spring returned our three winter-soaked vineyards to drier soils, a useful reminder that the prospect of drought is never distant in our Australian terroir. Budburst began somewhat early so we were glad to have begun our pruning (most unusually) immediately post-vintage. Temperatures warmed in mid November, the start of a long, gentle summer. Amidst the steady warmth, occasional showers kept grapes in good condition as our vineyards sped along to an early harvest. Consequently, vintage 2012 was a year of consistently high quality across all varieties, though low in quantity. The whites showed fantastic acidity, the reds good depth and concentration. What lacked in quantity from the vineyard appears certain to be amply compensated for by quality in the winery.