Ugni Blanc, Best known for its contribution as one of the base varieties in Cognac also works magnificently as a textural full fleshed white wine, especially when paired with a month of skin contact and just a wink of white Frontignac for sexiness and a striking 'Look at Me' by my talented son, Ben Lehmann.
The 2021 Single Barrel Skin Contact Ugni Blanc was sourced entirely from Kevin Bartsch's Langmeil Road Nursery block's Ugni Blanc plantings with a tiny fragrant dash of White Frontignac from Jim Boehm's Light Pass vineyard. 384 bottles made.
Bright golden straw with hints of skin contact orange/gold around the meniscus.
Honeyed golden summer spice over toffee apple dusted roast almonds
Creamy and smooth honeyed toffee apple mid palate slips effortlessly into the gently drying grippy finish from the 30 days on skins. Balanced fruit and textural weight counterpoint the light nutty hues of yeasty richness from the 12 months on lees, The palate is perfectly finished with the richness of gentle oak complexity and echoes of toffied nuts.
Kevin Barch did me a solid and hand picked his Ugni Blanc seperately from the rest of his last white varietal pick in 2021. The vineyard that has given forth the cornecopia for the 108 varieties Red Rose perfectly nurtured this fruit to ripe deliciousness. Most commonly used to create the base wine from which some of the greatest brandy's are made, Ugni Blanc rarely graces the table as a wine in its own right. Peter Schell of Spinifex, locally, has utilised it as a component in one of his white blends presumably for its textural and volumising characteristics. For me, The timing of it's arrival meant that we couldn't press it out and it seemed that everything was just pointing towards having a crack at making a skin contact wine... deliberately. We destemmed the golden globes to a little stainless tank and treated it like one of the red ferments - albeit a lot colder than we'd normally work. After 30 days on skins, exposed to what we technically refer to as a 'WHACK-TONNE' of air, the controlled ferment temperature ensured we still had about 5 degrees of baume on the stick when we pressed it off. The freerun and pressings all went together into a barrel and quietly finished primary and Malolactic fermentation over the subsiquent 5 or so weeks. Once it was finished, we topped the barrel to full with a handy bit of White Frontignac and tucked the lot away into the coldroom to sit undisturbed for a further 12 month of character building time. Bottled in February 2022, it spent another 6 or so months in bottle before Meeting an awesom packaging flourish supplied by my son Ben, and being released in Early November 2022, just in time for Summer Fun!