In the early 1980's the Adelaide Hills was an untried region for grapes and wine. Our ambition was to plant a vineyard capable of growing flavours that would extend the style and quality frontiers of Australian wine.
This demanded a different way of growing grapes; with low yield from low vigour vines that fully ripened in the cool hills environment. Avoidance of the high or low extremes of temperature in the vineyard and protection from strong wind is fundamentally important.
The site we chose has ancient, low fertility soils and is high on the slopes allowing ample cold air drainage so that the vines are not restricted in their flavour-producing metabolism. In addition the soils have excellent water holding capacity meaning that irrigation is unnecessary and the vines have a steady but restricted water supply to support them.
The growing season rainfall was 420mm between October and March, which was higher than our long-term average of 230mm. Of this 312mm fell between October and December. Disease pressure was consequently high early in the season but ripe healthy grapes were harvested. We grow our grapes without irrigation and they benefit, I believe, from deep roots sustaining them rather than more shallow ones subject to downpours and dry spells.
TECHNICAL DETAILS: 100% single-vineyard Sauvignon blanc from Lenswood, Adelaide Hills. We crush, destem, gently air bag press. Clear settle juice and cold ferment to dryness. No need for additions of acid (which is so common in Australia); our approach is to make the wine as naturally as possible with minimal additions. The fresh aromatics of the fruit are retained and, with gentle air bag pressing, harsh extractives are not generated. Alcohol 12.5%; pH 3.10; TA 7.1g/L as tartaric.
TASTING : Lifted aromas of pear, cut grass and hints of flowers. Fresh, fragrant and complex. Nothing heavy or vegetal. The palate has fresh fruit with a lively, juicy richness and a lingering, fresh acid edge to the finish. Full, long and delicate. This is a lively, tightly structured wine but with a generous, supple mid palate and a fine, long, savoury finish. - Geoff Weaver