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.
Pink to make the boys wink? Maybe not, but definitely a pink colour and delicately ‘frizzante’. We pick the Muscat grape at about 11 deg beaumé and press it off skins (after an hour or 2 of sitting on skins to get the pretty pink colour) and then ferment it like a white wine. This means we ferment the grapes in stainless steel, but unlike most of our other white wines, we halt the fermentation process (by chilling the wine so that the yeast can’t do their fermenting) before all of the grape sugar has turned to alcohol. This leaves the wine with residual sweetness. We add a bit of fizz before we bottle the wine under crown seal.
If you read the back label of the Sweet Pea, you will see that we describe the wine as a breakfast wine. While we don’t want to condone excessive alcohol consumption before the sun is over the yardarm, because this wine only weighs in at 7% alc, we feel confident in recommending it to be matched with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.
With its residual sweetness, lovely fresh grapey characters and floral notes on the nose, as well as a twist of watermelon on the palate, Sweep Pea makes a terrific dessert wine. Have it with a strawberry based dessert. Fancy a cocktail? Use it as a base for a gin-based number, throw in some gin ice, mint, lime, and soda and there you have it, a ginscato. Delicious.
|Picking Date||14th February 2019|
|Bottling Date||16th May 2019|