We had good spring rains but lower summer rainfall than we usually receive in McLaren Vale. As a result of this dry growing period, disease pressure was low (no mildews!) although we had a couple of heat spikes in late January and some hot days in February which resulted in reduced crops compared to 2018 (down by up to 30% depending on variety). Whites were picked early in February and picking of the reds started at the beginning of March and was largely all over by the end of the month. Quality is terrific however, naturally.
Last man standing; that’s pretty much the status of our Pinot Noir vines. There aren’t too many versions coming out of the Vale these days. The heyday Joch tells me was in the 1980’s when his dad grew both Pinot Noir and Riesling to sell to other wine companies. We can’t make enough of this ‘Aster’ Pinot Noir. We make the wine carefully as we are not after a robust McLaren Vale red, but a gentler style with gentle tannins and a varietal nose. To this end we hand pick and put about 1/3rd of the grapes through carbonic maceration – we ferment them anaerobically. This softens out the tannins. The rest of it is fermented in small open vessels. The wine spends about 6 months in older oak barrels before being bottled generally by the end of the year depending how efficient we are about getting this organised. As you can see by the dates below, we were in a hurry to get this wine to market. Demand is strong.
Aster our version of a light luncheon claret! It is fresh, bright and very varietal. It leans more towards the strawberry end of the Pinot Noir spectrum. Duck pancakes would work with this wine very well indeed.
|Picking Date||14th-16th February 2019|
|Bottling Date||3rd July 2019|