We had good winter rains after a few seasons of below average rainfall. This was a late season: budburst was approximately 2-3 weeks late, and harvest started similarly behind our standard season (we usually start picking Chardonnay in early/ mid-February). This year we picked whites in late February/ early March. Unseasonal rains in March threw a spanner in the works somewhat, but luck and good management helped us dodge most of the bullets. Overall this was a very long vintage with moderate yields which tested Joch’s nerves a little more than usual.
This wine is our nod in the direction of the ‘Amarone’ wines from Valpolicella, although our White Boar is a very different kettle of fish from its Italian inspiration. We cut the canes which connect grapes to roots once the grapes reach flavour and sugar ripeness. The leaves die and fall off and the grapes hang for about 10-12 days which allows them to dry and concentrate in flavour and acidity. They are then hand-picked and then undergo a very slow and often nail-biting fermentation. We only use old and larger format barrels in the maturation process, as we don’t want to overwhelm the exotic spicy characters with oak. We originally made these vine-concentrated parcels of wine as blending components for our BoB Cab and Shiraz (and still do) but when conditions allow, we bottle small amounts of this 100% cordon cut and vine-dried wine.
The nose is rich and spicy with a range of characters – chocolate, spice, star anise, red fruits, I could go on. The palate is rich and soft with gentle tannins and considerable length; you can taste the wine for several minutes after you have swallowed it. White Boar used to be 100% Vine-concentrated Shiraz but now is about 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet. The addition of the Cabernet (cordon cut and dried in exactly the same way as the Shiraz) has given the wine a little more backbone with regards to tannins. White Boar does well with rich stews and braises, or a hard cheese platter by a roaring fire.
|Picking Date||27th March 2011 (Cab Sauv) and 8th April 2011 (Shiraz)|
|Bottling Date||21st November 2012|