Ngeringa 'Illuma Vineyard' Adelaide Hills Syrah 2017 (RRP $60 WM $48.90)

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Vineyard
Planted on a westerly facing slope on the immediate foothills of the Mt Barker Summit at 420m altitude, the soil of the Iluma vineyard sparkles with micaceous schist amidst a shallow sandy loam over clay. A challenging viticultural site with the potential for very distinctive wines.

Winemaking
15% whole-bunch; 100% from our prized Iluma Vineyard; three to four weeks on skins; gentle hand and foot pigéage during the active stages of fermentation; pressed directly into 40% new-oak French barrels for two years.

Wild fermentation, no enzymes, oxidative handling pre-fermentation, spontaneous malolactic fermentation, gentle extraction, warmer fermentation, minimal temperature control. No fining. Estate bottled. Small amounts of sulphites added before bottling.

Vintage
2016 was a dry, hot vintage from the outset with only periodic respite. Promising rains in July and August of 2015 gave way quickly to an extremely dry spring and above-average temperatures, with essentially none of the seasonal rains we rely upon from October through much of January. On the bright side, despite conditions at flowering, we had a better-than-ever fruit set that was consistent across all varieties. And then, just as vintage was becoming visible on the horizon, the miracle came: a perfectly-timed, drenching rainstorm hit South Australia on January 21 & 22, refreshing the vines in a way irrigation just cannot match. A second significant rain event in the first few days of February ensured that the vintage was saved. The harvest was very early, beginning in the middle of February, but not nearly as early as it would have been and the fruit was thoroughly revived. The result was higher-than-average yields, good acidity, moderate concentration and balanced, approachable wines. Winegrowing is rarely for the feint of heart!



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