2017 Single Vineyard Shiraz / 6 bottles
The 2017 Clare vintage was characterised by a very wet spring. Some 198.5mm fell in September alone, four times the monthly average, with 85mm of this coming in the last two days and resulting in significant flooding. Budburst was delayed until 20 September, almost three weeks later than the previous year. Now in its third organic year, the vineyard was given four alternate copper and sulphur fungicide sprays through flowering.
Not surprisingly, the 2017 vintage was notable for a late verasion which began on 28 January, exactly a month later than the previous year. The growing season (1 September to harvest on 22 March) saw 487mm of rainfall. As a result of this excess moisture, average bunch weights (but not bunch numbers) were almost 30% higher than average, at 114.2 grams. Block 41 continues to be managed organically, free of herbicide, insecticide, pesticide and cultivation.
Four parcels of fruit were hand harvested on the morning of 22 March in mild 23C conditions at 13.8 Baumé. The fruit was vinified in open top vats, using 30% whole bunch and natural yeasts from the vineyard, hand plunged and left on skins for 28 days. The wine was then matured in 100% French oak, predominantly old oak, with a mix of puncheons and barriques for 10 months. The wine was racked twice prior to bottling but neither fined nor filtered.
Vineyard: Block 41, Spring Gully Road, Emu Flat (Clare Valley)
Method: fully organic
Harvest: 22 March (hand-picked)
Average bunch weight: 114.2 grams
Total SO2: 60ppm
Bottled: 9 April 2018.
Alcohol: 13.9% v/v
Vol: 145 doz