"One of the beauties of working with Viognier is its affinity for texture. Fermentation on skins followed by a year in barrel on lees gives this wine notable textural complexity."- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
We grow Viognier across both of our vineyard sites in Mt Barker and Nairne: one set of vines is on our Summit Vineyard, an easterly slope at 380m above sea level on a soil of sandy loam over clay; the other is on our Illuma Vineyard which is westerly facing slope of sparkling micaceous schist over clay, at 420m above sea level. The NGERINGA Viognier grapes come exclusively from the Illuma Vineyard, where our Northern Rhone varietals show their best expression.
The fruit for this vintage was harvested with only minimal bronzing to preserve a freshness of flavour and crispness of structure. 100% destemmed and five days of skin contact. Fermented in two to five-year-old French barriques. Left on lees for one year.
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.