The 2014 SB is a subtle beauty, with gentle passionfruit and lemon curd on the nose, along with some tropical characters and herbal grassy notes. You might be able to find hints of lavender powder, too. On the palate it is all clean tropical characters – very fresh and with a bright acidity and length and once again with those hints of lavender powder.
Vintage 2014 was a season of extremes for us all in McLaren Vale. We had great winter rains which gave us a full soil moisture profile in time for a dry and windy spring. They don’t call it windy Willunga for nothing. If we’d had a set of wind chimes on the property, we would have heard them all day and night from September to January. We had a series of very hot days in January, followed by about 45mm of rain over a 48 period in early February which slowed ripening of our red grapes right down. We had picked all of our white grapes prior to the rain ‘event’ and so we had a decent break between whites and reds, like the good old days. There was no splitting of any of the grapes left on the vine after the rain, mercifully, either. Joch’s analysis of 2014 is that it was a gentleman’s vintage – everything came in slowly and in order.
Early picking is the key to making this wine, and we do this mainly to keep a hold on the delicate aromas of the variety, so we don’t lose them between vine and bottle. Joch applies his kid gloves too when it comes to making the wine, which would be a sight for sore eyes if it weren’t simply a turn of phrase. The grapes are gently pressed and then cool fermented in stainless steel. There is no time in oak, although the wine does sit on its lees for a while to develop some complexity and weight.
Vineyards: Braden's, Edgehill and Wilcadene
Picking Date: 6th, 10th, 17th and 18th February 2014
pH Level: 3.19
Total Acidity: 6.94
Bottling Date: 31st July 2014