The 2006 growing season was longer than usual as mild spring weather resulted in early bud-burst; however this was followed by cool nights which prevented excessively rapid growth. There was good accumulation of summer heat and a long, dry autumn. Harvest occurred late in April, a little earlier than normal to retain elegance.
In making this wine we have used methods traditional to the famous white wines of Burgundy. After harvest the grapes were gently pressed and the juice, without clarification, was put into oak puncheons (30% new) made by artisan Burgundian coopers. It then underwent fermentation by the action of the grape's “wild” yeasts. Following this the puncheons were topped up and the wine was left undisturbed on its natural yeast deposit orlees, until the following spring and early summer. At that time our cool wine cellar began to warm a little and the wine spontaneously started secondary, or malo-lactic, fermentation through the action of its indigenous micro-organisms. Each puncheon was regularly assessed by taste throughout this gradual process and it was stopped when the balance was considered ideal. After approximately 12 months this wine was carefully removed from selected puncheons, blended and put into stainless steel tanks to allow it to integrate for another 6 months prior to bottling without any further oak contact.
The wine has a bright lemon hue. In the bouquet and flavour there is a complex intertwining of fruity and savoury elements. There are impressions of citrus fruits, white peaches, nectarines and greengages overlying nuances of smokey bacon, grilled mushrooms and barbequed sweet corn. One senses a racy vitality and power in the palate but yet it holds this in check and remains restrained, tight knit and focused. While generous it is also austere with a backbone of minerality and a long grapefruity finish.
Although this wine is ready to drink on release, we believe with careful cellaring it will develop additional fascinating nuances and improve for 6-10 years after harvest and live well beyond.
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