I hope you will find the Estate Vineyard wine releases truly excellent again this year. All three are giving me great satisfaction and even more complexity will undoubtedly come with bottle age. As mentioned in previous newsletters, these are the wines I truly want to make. They are in no way slaves to fashion or trends. However I feel like a little foray into the world of 'natural' wines would be interesting. To this end we have been experimenting with Terracotta Amphora vessels now for the past 3 years.
I must stress that my major goals and efforts rest with our long-term classic wines and Giaconda is not making a major change in direction but the ageing and evolution of wine in Terracotta is something I find fascinating and is yielding very interesting results in the winery. To date we have completed various trials with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and a fascinating Roussanne fermentation is currently in progress!
This style of wine is sure to develop over time. The Amphora vessels are allowing us to age on solids (skins and stems) for a more complete and gentle extraction. As a result we are seeing richer and rounder structure, more texture and enhanced aromatic complexity. This will suit some varieties more than others and from our experience Nebbiolo is lending itself well to this new approach.
Nebbiolo has been gaining much attention and I encourage you to keep a close eye on our Red Hill (Beechworth) project. This variety has found a certain affinity with the Amphora and our next harvest will be vinified entirely this way. The results from our trial have produced an incredibly complete and textural wine. The evolution over the past 12 months has been such that we should see a release of our first Amphora aged Nebbiolo in the near future!
Pinot Noir has also taken a great leap forward with our new plantings and clones coming to the fore. The richer soils and cooler location of these plantings has resulted in much later ripening, which enables the vines to produce enhanced flavour complexity while retaining better acidity and building finer tannin structure.
Warner Vineyard Shiraz is back on true form and an En Primeur offer is being made this year from the 2018 vintage. Do not miss this release as the wine is profound and deeply complex. The 2017 vintage will be released later this year (during spring) under our Nantua label. In comparison the '17 is lighter and already approachable as a young wine, hence the decision to release this under the Nantua label.
This year we are proud to announce the completion of our Organic certification with the Bio Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI). Casey has continued to make good progress in developing our organic farming practices and you will see organic certified wine being released by us in a few years from now! This completes the brief to make Giaconda one of the most traditionally inspired wineries in Australia. Here the definition of 'natural' wine making is inspired by old-world European techniques such as gravity flow without the use of pumping, fermentation with indigenous yeasts, no ageing in stainless steel, minimal sulphur additions, full Malolactic fermentation and no filtration before bottling. I feel this all comes together and contributes greatly towards what you experience and enjoy in a glass of Giaconda.
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