‘Well structured wines’ probably best describes most of the wines vinified in 2013. The dry weather through winter and spring didn’t allow for the vines to grow big canopies and resulted in below average yields. The combination of dry conditions, low yields and small canopies saw fruit ripen much quicker than normal. Vintage commenced two weeks early and mild, dry conditions made for pleasant harvesting. During the early stages of fermentation the monster tannins and strong natural acids assembled wines of incredible structure.
The Graciano vineyard is located on our Stonewell Estate. Planted in 2002, it is an ideal site for this premium Spanish grape variety. The perched vineyard is often exposed to persistent winds that help maintain a healthy dry canopy that has little to no disease pressures. The brown clay soils have shallow underlying sedimentary bedrock. Graciano is a late ripening grape variety but despite the longer ripening period it has an exceptional ability to retain remarkable natural acidity.
The hand-harvested fruit is destemmed to an open top fermenter. The must is inoculated and allowed to ferment between 22-25oC until dry before pressing. Its cap is managed by pumping over twice daily without splashing. Barrel élevage is undertaken with seasoned French oak casks, a mix of hogsheads and pungeons. The wine is bottled 12 months after harvest to ensure the style retains its vibrancy and primary fruit freshness.