Making wine is not like making beer or gin where the raw materials are pretty consistent. Having said that, despite the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons being much different, the result was the same picking date! However, the end result is quite different. Where 2015 is all gloss and pretty fruit, 2016 is a little more concentrated and brooding. Still definitely an Our Fathers but one that has more flesh on the bones.
Winter and Spring were dry and though total volume was near normal, there were few drenches. Spring was also dry with hot temperatures in October followed by a milder November in which the fruit set well with good crops. Refreshing rains in late January prolonged the season more than it might have been but by mid-February the fruit was perfect for hand picking.
We hand-picked our fruit in the early morning of February 19th, 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 40% 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 a dense yet succulent, spicy blackberry fruit with hints of woodsmoke and tobacco. More powerful than the 2015, yet still carries the linear thread of complex texture and fine tannins that ensure that this wine has a very bright future and an extremely enjoyable present!
Quantity Produced : 1050 bottles