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 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 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 American Hogsheads for 11 months prior to bottling.