Vintage 2012 marked my twelfth vintage at our Stonewell property in Marananga and this year our skills, experience and amazing vineyard sites all fell into play with perfect harmony. This harvest my sister Kylie [the baby of the Tscharke Family] joined the winemaking team and as a united front we remained in full control throughout harvest.
The cooler dry season delivered outstanding fruit. The wines from 2012 will be riper than 2011 but not as rich as 2010. There was incredible balance this year with great fruit weight and much higher acidity levels.
The Tempranillo plantings are located on our Gnadenfrei and Stonewell Vineyards. First planted in 1998, this wine is produced using two clones; D8V12 and Requiena. The vineyard aspects are quite different and so too is the harvest dates for each site. The soils of Gnadenfrei are shallow weathered brown clay with pink quartzite. Stonewell has deeper soils of red/brown clay overlaying silty orange clay and weathered rock.
The winemaking and élevage [maturation] was encouraged to express a medium to full bodied red wine. The determination of harvest is crucial, with a rapid depletion of natural acidity the fruit must be picked as early as possible whilst ensuring tannins have ripened and adequate flavours have accumulated. The hand- harvested fruit is destemmed and crushed via a chiller and allowed to cold soak for 3 days before yeast inoculation. Following a short ferment on skins the wine is pressed off before primary fermentation has completed. The wine is racked off gross lees into seasoned french barriques for 15 months prior to bottling.