Great wine is made, or lost, in the vineyard.
Ultimately, I’m looking to create wines with balance that encompass complexity, concentration and finesse with the potential for longevity.
It starts with my picking decisions which relate to a desire to create restrained and focussed wines exhibiting a citrus flavour profile including, limes, lemon, grapefruit and tangerine and just touching on stone fruits of nectarine and white peach together with floral and mineral notes.
Whole-bunch pressing is utilised. No SO2 is added until bottling, consequently there is oxidative juice handling throughout the vinification period. The pressed juice is transferred to French oak barriques and/or puncheons depending on the cuvee together with a considered amount of suspended solids. New oak represents between 25% and 40% depending on the blend. Oak imparts flavour and tannin to the wine enhancing the complexity and structure.
Natural malo-lactic fermentation (MLF) proceeds relatively quickly and occasionally before the end of primary fermentation. As a consequence of MLF, the acid profile in the wine changes and softens bringing further balance and increased complexity.
In recent years, carbonic maceration has played a part in adding additional complexity and we’re seeing some remarkable textural results together with new flavour and aromas being generated.
The wine is left to mature on lees which are stirred when appropriate following appraisal. Lees stirring assists in keeping the wine fresh, and aids in building mouth feel and texture. Yeast lees collected from previous vintages (some lees batches up to 4 years old) are added to enhance flavour and texture.
The goal is to create complex wines, with finesse and concentration, which express each sites unique quality, all on a balanced framework.
- Written by Simon Black