2011: There has never been a year more suited to Botrytis in the Barossa since I started making wine. To make truly great botrytis you need truly challenging conditions for making everything else, so the trade off can be a bit heartbreaking. The levels of concentration in this wine, intertwined with the awesome botrytis characters have given forth a wine that conditions don’t often allow, but when they do is a tour de force!
Harvested: 2nd of May 2011.
Sugar at Harvest: 21.8 Baume
Residual Sugar: 210 g/Ltr
90 day ferment
8 month Aging in French oak Barriques
Single vineyard wine.
Fruit sourced from our
Stonewell Hill Vineyard
Picked at 95(+)% Botrytis.
Total production 500 x 12 x 500ml cases,
Deep gold with a hint of caramel toffee clinging to the edges.
Bang! Botrytis marmalade and pithy apricot orange intertwining candied lemons and honeyed kumquats
Toffeed lemon peel with candied mandarin. Tannic grip underpins and forgives unctuous opulent sticky richness. A gentle acidic line of semillon poise gives both direction and tames the hell cat within. Icky Sticky Deliciousness on Steroids!
2011: There has never been a year more suited to Botrytis in the Barossa since I started making wine. Bold statement – yes… Incorrect – no! To make truly great botrytis you need truly challenging conditions for making everything else, so the trade off can be a bit heartbreaking. But the offset was a ‘golden’ lining to that wet cloudy year.
Our patch of Semillon on the Stonewell Hill block was already slated to make it’s last vintage as I had my eyes on that dirt for Malbec and Petit Verdot. With 2011 already shaping up as a wet one, I thought to myself… bugger it lets go out with a bang. I decided to let the entire Semillon crop hang out and if we struck noble gold the thumbs up… and if it didn’t happen then such is life. As it turned out the botrytis took hold and the baume headed north – “bewdy”, all the makings were there. After an interesting negotiation with the pickers, who were convinced to put in the bucket what they had spent the whole season throwing out, five and a half tonnes were field destemmed into our open fermenters and brought back to the winery.
I worked the Semillon on skins for 10 days then basket pressed to tank for 50 days of cold fermentation. The ferment was then distributed amongst a bunch of well seasoned French oak Barriques to slowly finish off over the next month. Once the wine had reached 10% alcohol (leaving a solid 12(ish) degrees baume (or 210 g/l residual sugar) I stopped the ferment. The wine then spent another 8 months on Yeast lees, naturally settling and developing before bottling in 500mL format under screwcap in April 2012. The levels of concentration intertwined with the awesome botrytis characters have given forth a wine that conditions don’t often allow, but when they do is a tour de force!
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