Tonic Nebbiolo 2017
After a fairly gutsy (for us!) 2016 Nebbiolo that leant on the ripasso method to provide some extra fruit weight, we went back to something more akin to the 2015 style, in what proved to be a very cool year in the Hills - remember this is from 2017 and a year older than the other releases.
It was a bit of an agonising wait to find ripeness in this cool year and we made the call to pick early due to the forecast of heavy rain to come. Once again we were able to pick some fruit from two parts of the vineyard, with both 10 and 15 year old vines in the mix and 5 different Nebbiolo clones. We picked under a ton and de-stemmed and crushed all the fruit before leaving it to ferment wild and rest on its skins in the fermenter for 93 days. Then into old French oak barrels for a rest.
After about 18 total months in barrel we bottled it without fining or filtration. This year's Nebbiolo is blessed with haunting and soaring aromatics, spiked with spice, dried roses and cherry fruit. The palate is light and red fruited at this young stage with cranberry and dried spices. Tannin is very much a feature with a firm but fine, detailed line drawing the palate through a savoury and pleasantly drying finish. It's another fascinating and satisfying chapter in the series "What on earth is the Nebbiolo going to do this year?" Stream it on Netflix now. Or better still, grab a bottle and drink with humans and conversation.
50 dozen made <> 13.6% alc / vol
Due to the small make there is a 6 bottle limit for purchases of this wine.
What others said about the 2016 vintage...
"This little baby comes from the Bowe Lees vineyard in Woodside and the production is tiny - 44 dozen tiny. So you are unlikely to see it floor-stacked next to the registers at your nearest big-box boozatorium. That said, it is worth popping your head into a friendly independent wine retailer or indeed, the winery website and tracking a bottle down because it's the shizzle.
Lots of cool winemaking geekery involved in getting this to bottle...extended time on skins (95 days) and the practice of 'ripasso', passing the 2016 juice over the freshly pressed skins of the 2017 vintage Nebbiolo for three weeks before pressing back to old French oak to add an extra dimension to the finished wine. It's light in colour and beautifully fragrant with sappy edged, pure cherry and cranberry fruit with hints of spice, purple floral tones, sweet leather and notes of Amaro herbs and Turkish Delight fluttering around further in the background.
In the mouth it is weighted just so; the characters from the nose neatly transposing the palate, which is pure, juicy and savoury at once. Balanced, delicious and easy drinking with a delightful sappy cherry and herbal vapour trail to finish. Lovely" David Brookes, The Adelaide Review, May 2018
"Nebbiolo can be a bit of a leap for many, its colour suggesting lighter red notes, though often its tannin feel can be confronting. Forget all that. This is a beautifully elegant expression, registering at 12.8% alcohol, so open to express savoury nuances like fennel bulb, braised duck juices and black pepper. It's wild fermented, rested on skins for an astonishing 95 days, and even passed over new vintage skins in what's known as the ripasso method. An absolute stunner, modern and very, very drinkable." 5 STARS, Tony Love, The Adelaide Advertiser, June 2018