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 Montepulciano vineyard is located on our Stonewell Estate. Planted in 2001, this was Australia’s first vineyard planted to this variety indigenous to Italy. Trained onto a single cordon wire, the canopies produced from the well-established bilateral cordons are managed using a VSP [verticle shoot positioning] trellising system. This variety is very fruitful and assists with growing intensly flavoured, yet balanced fruit. Bunch thinning is carried out post véraison. The brown clay soils have shallow underlying sedimentary bedrock. Montepulciano is a late ripening grape variety but despite the longer ripening period it has an exceptional ability to retain great acidity levels in warm growing conditions.
The hand-harvested fruit is destemmed to an open top fermenter. The must is inoculated and allowed to ferment between 22-25ºC until dry. The cap is managed by pumping over twice daily without splashing. Once primary fermentation has been completed the skins are retained and allowed to macerate for a further 30 days before being bag pressed and racked to new and seasoned French oak. The wine is bottled 15 months after harvest to ensure the style retains its vibrancy and primary fruit freshness.
COMING SOON The Master, Montepulciano Tasting Notes