The 2018 growing season had a reasonable start with adequate rainfall through winter and early spring. Healthy canopies were established across all sites and the dry and warm conditions of late January and February kept weeds and disease pressures to a low. February proved to be a very warm month which stalled ripening and it wasn’t until the relief of a mild March that the outlook for a great harvest looked imminent.
The late Indian summer enhanced the quality of late picked varieties such as Mataro, Grenache, Montepulciano and Cabernet. 2018 came off the back of two big vintages so it was no surprise this harvest was likely to be down on average with most crops down by 20-25%. The wines produced were very balanced, had ripe phenolics and display vibrant mid palate weight, a spectacular vintage for good structure and elegance.
The Savagnin vineyard is located on our Stonewell Estate. Planted in 2005, the vines are located just beyond our Lagoon. The unique strip of black to brown clay soils [Biscay] are extremely reactive to moisture and required careful management. The physical properties of these soils are ideally suited to white grapes and early ripening grape varieties.
The fruit for this wine style is harvested early in the development of fruit ripening to encourage great retention of natural acidity and moderate sugar levels.
The fruit is pressed under inert gas [N2] and the combined free run and pressings are lightly clarified in tank prior to inoculation for primary fermentation. The wine is fermented between 10 – 12°C prior to being arrested when the desired sugar, alcohol and acid balance is achieved. The stabilized wine is immediately bottled with the addition of CO2 to provide a fine effervescence.