We had a very dry spring leading up to vintage 2016 and it was windy, too. We expect these kinds of windy conditions in Willunga, but this was pretty intense. October and December were both pretty warm, whereas November was mild. Very healthy crops were recorded across all varieties in McLaren Vale. We had a huge downpour at the end of January a few days before the whites were due to be picked; this kind of weather event tends to give Joch a sense of tightening around the left chest area, neck and sometimes down the arm. However this 50mm downpour succeeded in refreshing the vines, giving us a few more days before picking and bringing the lawns back from the brink. February was mild with cool nights and March provided pretty good picking conditions, give or take a few warm days.
The trick to making a lovely McLaren Vale Sauvignon Blanc is getting the grapes off just before the start to taste like pineapple! Joch spends time in the vineyard tasting the grapes as they ripen. As soon as there is the merest hint of the tropics, bang, we pick them. The SB is picked at night to keep the grapes cool, and we don’t allow the fermentation to get too warm either – the better to protect the delicate flavours of the grapes. We don’t allow the wine any time on oak as we want bright fresh fruit characters, although we (I mean Joch and Nairn of course, I try and keep as far away from the winery as is humanely possible) do allow the wine time to lie ‘sur lie’ (pronounced sir lee) on the yeast lees (yeast cells and grape solids; part and parcel of fermentation) because this helps scavenge any lurking oxygen. This acts as a preservative in many ways. It also helps develop some nice textures.
On the nose cut grass, lantana and a hint of passionfruit. The palate is zippy and citrusy. Battle of Bosworth Sauvignon Blanc: super fresh and delicious; who needs a Kiwi Savvy B?
|Vineyards||Braden's, Edgehill and Wilcadene|
|Picking Date||2nd, 4th and 10th February 2016|
|Bottling Date||3rd June 2016|