Following a wetter than average winter and spring with below average summer temperatures, Barossa’s 2017 harvest was three to four weeks later than in recent years. As the season progressed, later ripening varieties like Mataro and Grenache were tracking 4 to 5 weeks later. The mild conditions and healthy soil moisture levels were pertinent for flavour development and conducive to ‘filling’ out the berries resulting in higher than average yields.
Another strong year for Barossa, the 2017 vintage promises to deliver an array of wine styles, from “bright, aromatic wines”, through to “vibrant, intense, well-structured” and “dense, concentrated” wines from the earlier-picked vineyards.
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.