There's something spiritual about walking through old vineyards. It's not just the remarkable tenacity of the gnarly old vines, some barely still alive but also the memories that are etched into the soil. This particular vineyard in the Moppa sub-region of the Barossa has vines in it of approximately 125 years old. I say approximately as no-one seems to know - even the old timers in the area remember this vineyard being very old when they were young!
Over 125 years, this vineyard has seen so much. It's watched those who have tended it come and go, some to war, some to their maker and some to other lives. There is a palpable sense of history that ably demonstrates that we have a limited time to make an impression on this earth.
The 2014 vintage was built around 3 key attributes. A black frost devastated many vineyards in the Barossa in October and led to much reduced crops. It also meant that careful selection at harvest time was essential to avoid picking "second crop"
January 2014 was the hottest on record with Adelaide recording 14 days over 40 degrees centigrade. With the ripening process racing along, the heat was broken by a torrential downpour in mid February which led to problems of grape splitting and rot in some vineyards.
After the rains, the weather was fine, mild and dry and for those who could wait, the quality and balance of the fruit was excellent.
We hand-picked our fruit in the early morning of March 7th, a good few days before the rest of the vineyard was picked. This was intentional as we wanted to retain freshness and energy in the wine.
The grapes were rapidly transferred to the winery where a third of the bunches were left intact and the balance gently de-stemmed. After a couple of days of pre-fermentation maceration, the natural fermentation began and was accompanied by two hand plunges a day to gently extract colour and tannin.
When fermentation was complete, the wine was left on skins (and stems) for another 5 days before transferring to French oak (50% new puncheons) where it completed malolactic fermentation and 18 months of maturation.
The resulting wine exhibits succulent, spicy blackberry fruit with hints of woodsmoke and tobacco. Complex texture and fine tannins ensure that this wine has tight structure and is embued with an energy and vivacity that belies the age of the vines used to produce it.
Quantity Produced : 1062 bottles