The variety is characterised by its pink/brown skinned berry, and its powerful aromas of lychee, musk and roses.
Vineyard: Gewurztraminer was one of the early varieties planted in Margaret River, but is now not much more than a curio, if it can be found at all.
This wine is from 3 rows of 40+ year old dry grown vines in Willyabrup. That is the entire planting. We harvest about 1 tonne.
The 2016 season: A warm Spring lead to a healthy start to the season. A few Spring storms damaged some of the early growth, but this is the norm in this region. Vine growth was generally strong, and the vines healthy with a moderate crop.
A very unusual rain event in mid January, lead to 75 – 100 mm of rain over 2 days. This got most growers a bit edgy, as it could lead to vine disease. The balance of the season was long and mild.
As it turned out, the rainfall in the middle of the driest part of the year was a boon to most vines, giving them a mid-season boost. This has resulted in wines with remarkable intensity of flavour, and retention of good acid levels. Despite everyone being a bit edgy about the season, I have no doubt that it will be the 10th great consecutive vintage for Margaret River. We are spoiled.
The white wines are intense and focussed, with lifted aromatics and full of varietal expression.
Blend: 100% Gewurztraminer.Gewurztraminer translates to "spicy or perfumed" traminer. It is a variety of enormous and complicated history, with origins in the northern climes of Italy. It is now planted fairly widely across Europe, but in very small quantities. Its European home now is probably Alsace, but there are still reasonable plantings in northern Italy and Germany.
Winemaking: The grapes were allowed to ripen to an extent where they express the full array of exotic flavours and spices. These grapes were hand harvested on the 5th March, and whole fruit pressed to retain texture. Fermentation was in old oak barrels (3 of them). Following fermentation, the wines stayed in these barrels for a further 15 months, with occassional stirring to suspend the lees. The barrels were blended in July of the following year. The wine was minimally fined, filtered and bottled.
Bottling was done manually with a four head gravity filler in the shed.
The wine was then allowed to relax in bottle for a further 15 months prior to being made available for sale. This wine will be released in October, 2018.