Tonic Nebbiolo 2015 - SOLD OUT
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We always said we weren't going to make a Pinot Noir. It's a variety that we love so much that we couldn't live with ourselves if we made a crappy one (which is easier than you'd think). It's a good rule...a safe position to take. Boring and unadventurous you might say. The other variety we're equally obsessed with is Nebbiolo. It's a geeky winemaker's thing. Some of our favourite wines in the world are Nebbiolos from Northern Italy. Imagine making a rubbish Nebbiolo...! The horror!
Then we took our boring rule and we broke it.
We haven't stressed about any of our wines as much as we did about this one. It's a pretty kooky variety with plenty of twists and turns guaranteed along the way. Fortunately we were able to source some fantastic fruit from the Bowe-Lees vineyard in the Adelaide Hills - also home to our Chardonnay fruit.
From a mixture of five clones across both 9 year old and 14 year old vines, we picked just over a tonne on April 1. We de-stemmed and crushed the fruit, then left it on its skins in the fermenter for 128 days. It fermented using natural yeast and we held our collective breath. What sort of tannin profile would we end up with? How would the aromatics develop? Basically...lots of question marks...
After 12 months in old oak barrels we bottled it, unfined and unfiltered. Then we sat back and poured ourselves a big glass each. It's not trying to look like an Italian wine; it's happily Australian. It's also unmistakably Tonic in style: medium-bodied, bright yet complex aromatics and lithe texture. And tannin? Yes, it's grippy on the palate and tightly structured. We *think* nailed it. Lucky we picked on April Fool's Day...
75 dozen made <> 13.5% alc / vol
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What others said about Tonic Nebbiolo 2015...
Review by Gary Walsh at http://www.winefront.com.au (Sept 2016)
“From the Bowe-Lees vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, spends a whopping 128 days on skins, no additions aside a dab of SO2. Unfined. Unfiltered. That’s the way. 75 dozen made. Picked on April Fool’s day. Release date is October 17th.
It’s an unusual Nebbiolo, yet it has the fingerprints of the grape variety all over it. Plenty of cherry here – pickled, red and glacé – almond and chestnut, some floral notes, a whiff of sweet leather and mint, and a little dusty spice. It’s light to medium bodied, kind of juicy and pretty, though not at all sweet, clean acidity with a mass of very fine, almost brick dust tannin as a feature of the wine, yet they don’t dominate. Finish is succulent and pretty with that beautiful subdued cherry flavour, and a farewell of almond paste, mint and toothsome tannin. Subtlety and nuance here. It’s a rare bird.” 94/100 Points. Drink: 2017 – 2025+