The wines produced from the vintage of 2014 are excellent. The weather conditions during spring and early summer were dry and above average heat degree-days regulated shoot growth and berry development. By mid February and well into veraison, soil moisture levels were extremely low but a record-breaking rain event replenished the soils. The weather conditions that followed were ideal. ‘Balanced’ probably best describes most wines from our harvest this year.
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.