Quality fruit is obviously paramount in making good wine so much of our attention is focused on achieving this. In the winery our approach is to avoid unnecessary interference and gently nudge the wine towards the drinkability and harmony we seek.
The year our Nebbiolo showed the depth and structure we had hoped for. A very exciting time for us as fruit quality was such that we have made our first stand alone Nebbiolo! The season itself was mild with good winter rains providing a positive start. The only down side of the year was that crops were small. We also bought in some Barbera which has become a staple now in our Rosso and the new vineyard to be planted in 2018 will become our Rosso block of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera and a Chardonnay block which is another exciting prospect.
For me the season was largely about increasing our knowledge of nebbiolo management and we took large steps towards getting it right. While shoot and crop thinning is standard practice across all varieties for us nebbiolo requires several passes! Early ripening varieties like tempranillo got the best of the season and resultant wines are generous and rich.
The excitement of picking our first Nebbiolo is difficult to explain however suffice to say Nebbiolo was the driving force behind planting in the first place. The vintage itself was as close to ideal as you can hope for. Solid winter rains ensured good soil moisture for early season growth followed by dry and mild conditions, which led to an early harvest for all varieties. Concentrated fruit with good acid retention were the hallmarks of the vintage.
Tempranillo – 55 dozen made
Cabernet Sauvignon – 85 dozen made
Both wines bottled June 29 2015
The 2014 season gave us the first tantalising glimpse of how our vineyard will perform with the first Tempranillo fruit showing very good concentration and structure on the vine. It was a solid vintage all around however the Tempranillo shone. At Fighting Gully Rd the crop was small but flavours were intense.
Bottled Oct 31 2014, 87 dozen made
The Fighting Gully Rd vineyard showed why it has the reputation it does. Sharing similar decomposed shale and mudstone soils with Red Hill and indeed at a similar altitude the site is quite exposed and the resultant near constant breeze ensures very low disease pressure and subsequent healthy fruit.