This wine revels in shadows and darkness. Liquorice, tar, stewed blackberry, violets, oyster shell and burnt orange drive the sinister nose. The palate follows with plum and rhubarb crumble, fennel seeds, and bitter chocolate, all woven around a powerful, structural tannin backbone.
A composition that is intended to be evocative of the night, but poses few restrictions on the form. It may be gentle and nostalgic, full of reverie and tenderness, or it could reflect the dark passionate heart of Romanticism rather than its intimate lyricism.
There’s not much Tannat planted in Australia, partly owing to the perception that it only makes ferociously black, tannic wine that tastes likes ‘dark matter lurking in a pot’. However, the Adelaide Hills vineyard growing the Tannat for Nocturne shows that this variety has much more to offer than this. The 20 year-old Tannat vines are located on clay loam just west of Woodside on an elevated, east-facing slope that’s well protected from hot afternoon sun. A mild January and less late season rain than usual produced great quality, flavour and natural acidity in the vineyard in 2015. Excellent work by viticulturalist Adam Loveys as well as Ann Lees and Michael Bowe together with the favourable growing conditions produced the best possible Tannat for the Nocturne.
The Tannat was hand-picked in late April, bunch sorted, destemmed and crushed, then left for short cold soak. Once warm, the Tannat underwent a short ferment in an open vessel using wild yeast. This was followed by a 7 day period of extended maceration. The wine was then basket pressed, settled in tank, and transferred to small format oak. Half of the barrels were French, the other half American. The Tannat had a long, 24 month period of maturation before being bottled in late October 2017 without fining or filtration.
A medium weight, smashable GSM, this wine has spring blossoms, raspberry, blueberry and satsuma plum, with Szechuan pepper and laksa mint on the nose. The palate has a generous heart, with plum and rhubarb crumble, cherry liqueur, apple pie, and cedar. It’s a super juicy, slurpy, ebullient exercise in deliciousness.
Rule of Thirds
A rule of composition common to photography and graphic design (and now wine), through which an aesthetic sense of order and balance is achieved.
The Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro vineyards were chosen because of their capacity to make unique contributions to the wine. Each vineyard has a distinct personality that helps create a sensorial experience of order and balance in the finished wine.
The cooler climate of Williamstown in the southern Barossa combined with 30 year-old vines and sandy soil produced beautifully bright, floral, punchy Grenache. Light and ethereal, it’s ideal for providing fruit purity and prettiness. A smaller portion of the Grenache component was sourced from Bethany in the foothills of the Barossa Ranges.
From 20 year old vines on the valley floor near Nuriootpa, dry-grown on sandy loam. Classic Barossa intensity, but harvested early to avoid any over-ripe, stewed flavours. The Shiraz provides spice, structure and classic Barossa flavours.
Also dry-grown 35 year-old vines, this fruit comes from a Stockwell vineyard used in some of the Valley’s best examples of the variety. Beautifully rich and savoury, the Mataro gives great plushness and structure to the blend.
All components were hand-harvested, sorted, then fermented separately using wild yeast. 20% of the Grenache and 10% of the Shiraz were included as whole bunches, with the remainder going through full crush. The Grenache ferments underwent a cold soak to accentuate bright characteristics, while the Shiraz and Mataro had some extended maceration to bring structure and savoury elements to the blend. Everything was pressed to small old French oak after settling in tank, except the Mataro, which went to second-use French Barriques. All components were matured for 18 months before the final blend was assembled and bottled without fining or filtration.
A light, moreish wine that captures the best flavours of young, vibrant Grenache.
The Grenache was sourced from an elevated vineyard near Williamstown at the southern end of the Barossa where the Valley meets the Adelaide Hills.
The cooler Williamstown site produces the bright, punchy Grenache.
A densely complex nose that rewards contemplation with an alluring mix of feijoa, Asian spices, and cherry cola as well as floral highlights and cedar forest undertones. Juicy on the palate, with cherry and goji berries amongst fresh herbs, sarsaparilla-root, rosemary and rhubarb. The tannin is fine and the finish lip-smacking. Very mysterious indeed.
What is it about Pinot Noir? It’s one of the most compelling but also polarising varieties. Arcana is a reference to Pinot being one of the most elusive grapes in the world. It has secrets and mysteries that have been endlessly chased by countless wine lovers. You might also say good Pinot, like arcana, is something of an elixir or remedy.
The character of arcana is strongly influenced by the qualities of the Pinot clones we source from two sites in Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. Here the combination of clone and location produces a weightier Pinot with juicy, rich red fruit flavours and a complex mix of floral and spice aromas.
We source a different Pinot clone from one site located in the elevated, cooler microclimate of Carey Gully in the Adelaide Hills. The grapes from this site produce wine with natural elegance and structure as well as spice and fresh herb characters.
The arcana is a best of vintage blend, with the 2015 coming from a selection of five barrels. All components were hand-picked and given slightly different treatments during primary ferment depending on the clone and perceived qualities of the grapes. Some components included small portions of whole bunches and were pressed early, and others were subjected to extended time on skins. Each component was basket pressed before being gravity-transferred to old French hogsheads. In some cases the lees from primary ferment was included in the barrels to enhance texture and complexity. After aging for 14 months in oak each component was assessed and blending trials were conducted to determine the proportions for the final blend. The wine was then racked to tank before bottling without fining or filtration.
Our unpretentious Pinot has a brilliantly lifted nose of satsuma, cranberry and cherry liqueur, leading to dried herbs and flowers with hints of mushroom and forest floor. The palate opens with sour cherries and fresh raspberries, followed by baked quince and feijoa with bramble-patch and potpourri in the background. It’s a super slurpy light-bodied wine with zingy acid lines and beautiful fine tannins.
Pinot is the grape variety responsible for some of the most intense wine snobbery on the planet. It’s supposed to be taken very seriously. It’s supposed to sit in the finest barrels in cellars with moody lighting for years before being released. It’s supposed to spawn expansive dialogues on the interplay of light and dark elements, brilliant bouquets harmonizing with brooding layers of earth and mushroom and ethereal, mysterious spices. But the Adelaide Hills are producing fruit with amazingly attractive characteristics right out of the gate, so we’ve put together a Pinot that’s still young, vibrant, fresh and delicious. It’s a wine that you can just drink and enjoy. This style of Pinot is becoming extremely popular, with the Adelaide Hills at the heart of the movement.
A small portion of fruit was sourced from a vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley sub-region of the Adelaide Hills growing the 777 Pinot clone. The cooler Piccadilly vineyard provided a bulwark against hot early Summer conditions, helping to preserve the heady aromatics and fresh red fruit flavours the 777 clone is renowned for.
The majority of the fruit was sourced from a vineyard west of Woodside growing the 114/115 Pinot clone. The east-facing vineyard is well-protected from hot afternoon sun, making it ideal for growing 114/115 Pinot with its natural elegance and delicate flavours.
A portion of the hand-picked fruit from both vineyards was de-stemmed, crushed, and wild fermented on skins with minimal intervention for a short time before being basket pressed to old French oak. The free-run portions of these ferments were included in the final blend after 14 months maturation. A small amount of the Piccadilly fruit was kept as whole bunches and underwent a carbonic maceration ferment, producing a blending component rich in floral aromatics. A small percentage of whole bunches were included in the wild ferment of the remaining Woodside fruit to provide some extra texture and spice. This portion spent longer on skins before being pressed to old French oak for 13 months.