MEMBERS CELLAR RELEASE 2019
From a quarter-acre block of vines planted next to our dam wall, this wine is complex, with a diversity of aromatics and an opulent palate. This Viognier retains an elegance more commonly associated with cooler climate expressions.
The Viognier was sourced From the Hentley Farm Barossa Valley vineyard, situated among rolling hills on the banks of Greenock Creek at Seppeltsfield. This small block of vines was planted in 2001 with the 'Beauty Shiraz’ co-fermentation in mind, and the ideal site was found next to the dam wall, where deeper low lying soils and protection from the elements provide the perfect site for Viognier production. The canopy is a single cordon lazy VSP and is encouraged to sprawl in a ballerina fashion, thus creating slowed ripening and increased flavour development.
The 2009 growing season started with average winter rainfall and cold conditions that continued into a problem free spring that was marked significantly by a return to late September bud-burst, falling back in line with the 2005 & 2006 growing seasons. December brought above average rainfall that filled soil profile and left us in a strong position for the ripening period ahead. This positive start almost turned to disaster in February, when the early heat wave that created the ‘black Saturday’ bushfires in Victoria struck, However the short lived heat wave only had the positive effect of halting sugar development while facilitating continued flavour development, and the mild conditions that followed were some of the best late season growing conditions The Barossa has seen in the last decade. The result was harvest dates 2-3 weeks later than the previous two growing season, and wines of astonishing quality.
The Viognier was harvested on the coldest night of the growing season, with harvested fruit sitting at 10 ◌ํC. Once harvested the fruit was crushed and de-stemmed into a bag press, where the free-run juice and light pressings where drained directly into new Saury ‘immersion’ French barriques, with the remaining ‘wet’ skins kept separate for co-fermentation with the Beauty Shiraz. The barrels were then transferred into a temperature controlled environment (16-18 ◌ํC) where they underwent a natural wild fermentation which lasted 12 days. Once fermentation was complete the wine remained in oak for one week with daily barrel stirring to maintain solid suspension. The wine was then transferred out of oak, with weekly solid suspensions continuing until the end of June, before clarification, filtration and bottling.
This intensely complex wine displays a diversity of aromatics, with buttery cinnamon and spice, floral aromatics such as lavender and rose oil combined with tropical and citrus fruits. The palate is equally complex, and shows the opulence expected in a Barossan Viognier, while retaining an elegance more commonly associated with a cooler climate.