We are a very small family winery (about 40 tonnes) who do everything by hand and on-site.
We planted Durif and Petit verdot in our vineyard in 1999, and 2006 was the 4th harvest from both varieties. Our vineyard is basically dryland, with only a small amount of ‘rescue’ water available to stop the leaves from falling off.
The 2006 season was a good one for us, with good spring rain that got deep into the soil profile, followed by a dry summer and autumn which encouraged the vines to concentrate on (flavour) ripening the fruit rather than growing too much canopy and accumulating too much sugar.
Durif is a traditional variety in Rutherglen and is well suited to the area. We have found it is particularly well suited to the combination of our buckshot clay soil, dryland conditions, and the particular rootstock we are using. Yet again in 2006, we have produced a wine with intense inky black colour, rich, ripe and intense ‘dark berry’ fruit flavours, and huge butwonderfully soft tannin structure. And all this at just 14 degrees Baume (14% v/v alcohol!!) This is fairly normal for our Durif – we have only ever picked over 15 degrees Baume once.
Our Petit verdot ripened a couple of weeks early this year due to the hot, dry ripening period during summer and early autumn. We picked at 14.5 degrees Baume, and have one of the most intense PVs we have made so far. Big, brooding forest fruits flavours, big soft tannins, and intense inky colour.
Both these wines will spend time in new and 1 year old French oak barrels, and will be bottled as straight varietals, as we have been doing since 2003.
Sounds like we will have a treat when these wines are released.