Ngeringa Viognier 2016
“Less skin contact than recent Viognier vintages has allowed for better balance.”- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
A wine with classic primary Viognier characters of candied orange-peel and crisp apricot with undertones of bitter almond and beeswax. Uncommonly zippy on the palate for a Viognier, with an enticing sea-air salinity and notes of grapefruit pith. An accomplished interplay between firm acidity and chalky tannic structure.
Grown across our two vineyard sites, one an easterly slope at 380m above sea level on a soil of sandy loam over clay. The other a westerly facing slope of sparkling micaceous schist over clay, at 420m above sea level.
50% whole bunch and 50% destemmed. 50% skin contact for two days. Matured for one year in well-seasoned French oak on full lees. 100% malolactic fermentation. Bottled under glass Vinolok closures.
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!