In some ways, the idea of a single vineyard wine is more exciting when vintage conditions are extraordinary. Grown amidst the cool and rain of 2011, this wine tastes of the year the drought broke, and is an enticingly direct expression of the conditions from which it emerged.
The aroma is uncompromising, with dense, angular brown spice and snapped twig dominating. Swirl it for a moment, though, and a whole spectrum of aromas begins to emerge, with fresh sap and red fruits at its core. Spiced oak brings up the rear of what is a multilayered aroma profile, one that requires the drinker to contemplate its pleasures rather than placing them on full display, a labyrinth rather than a tableau. This wine seems determined to draw you in and make you work, if only just a little.
The palate offers temporary respite from the nose’s serious brooding, with a bright burst of red fruit on entry. This quickly folds into a complex flavour profile that finds its full expression on the middle palate, where fruit, sap, forest floor and spice collide and become one. Flavours are serious, but the wine’s expression of them is light and delicate, enlivening adult flavours with good humour and brisk movement. The wine sings with freshness and light through its after palate, before a bright, acid-driven finish brings the wine to a close.
As befits a single vineyard bottling, impressions are of transparency and directness. Wait a couple of years before drinking.
Julian Coldrey [January 2013, commissioned by TMBT]
The fruit was hand harvested in the 3rd week of April and, on arrival at the winery, 100% destemmed. A 5 day pre-ferment maceration preceded a 100% wild yeast fermentation with manual plunging throughout, followed by a short post-ferment maceration (a total of 20 days on skins). Following pressing and a short settling period the wine was transferred to both new (22%) and old French oak barriques. Undergoing a natural 100% MLF with the onset of warmer temperatures in spring, the wine was then bottled unfined and unfiltered following a total of 15 months of oak maturation.