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 hour 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. 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.
We make ‘Sweet Pea’ using Red Frontignac, which is the McLaren Vale vernacular for Muscat à Petit Grains, a grape variety common through central and Eastern Europe. It has a trademark musky and floral character and for your information, is a red grape, even though it is used almost everywhere to make sweet or dry white wines. We use it to make our ever-popular slightly pink and just a little bubbly ‘Moscato’ wine. The grapes are picked and spend a little time ‘on skins’, which allows the red skins to impart a little pink tinge to the wine. The grapes are then pressed off and fermented. Fermentation is stopped to make a wine of about 7% alcohol.
Bozzie’s take on the 2014 ‘Sweet Pea’ is this, ‘Cinnamon, Turkish delight, citrus with a little bit of bubble-gum.’ We call ‘Sweet Pea’ our breakfast wine – terrific with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. It works well as a sweet wine with dessert too, especially with something strawberry based. This is a wine that can certainly multi-task!
|Picking Date||19th February 2014|
|Bottling Date||7th May 2014|