Vintage 2014 was a season of extremes for us all in McLaren Vale. We had great winter rains which gave us a full soil profile in time for a dry and windy spring. They don’t call it windy Willunga for nothing – I think if we’d had a set of wind chimes on the property, we would have heard them all day and night from September to January. We had a series of very hot days in January, followed by about 45mm of rain over a 48 period in early February which slowed ripening of our red grapes right down. We had picked all of our white grapes prior to the rain ‘event’ and so we had a decent break between whites and reds, like the good old days. There was no splitting of any of the grapes left on the vine after the rain, mercifully, either. Joch’s analysis of 2014 is that it was a gentleman’s vintage – everything came in slowly and in order, not like the mad rush of 2013. Every vintage is different; truism of our time, and of our industry.
A young and fresh-faced Joch Bosworth helped plant the vines which grow the grapes for this wine; a few decades ago now! In the early days the grapes were sold to various other wineries but we have been making a Pinot under our label for a few years now. Essentially we make the ‘Aster’ like a Beaujolais – we don’t want to extract too much tannin when making this wine. To this end we allow about 30% of the grapes to go through carbonic maceration, where the grapes ferment from within in big old plastic bags in apple crates. The rest of the grapes go through standard red winemaking procedures. That is they were picked, crushed, fermented, pressed off skins into (predominantly older) oak before blending back to the ‘cab mac’ component and bottling. Easy peasy.
Aster has a vivid bright red colour and shows juicy red fruits, spice and cherries on the nose. The tannins are gentle, fine and persistent. The spicy red fruits and cherries emerge on the palate, too. Beautifully balanced and perfumed this is a wonderfully varietal Pinot which matches very well with a variety of cheese, chicken dishes and charcuterie
|Picking Date||13th and 17th February 2014|
|Bottling Date||9th December 2014|