The work started early for this wine, with the cellar team pruning the vines (222 and BGW19 clones) in late August 2018. We focused on selecting canes with long internodal spacing to combat the overcrowded canopies we’d been seeing. This led to strong shoots and (overly) healthy fruit growth. Shoots were thinned by the team in November. As always with Gamay, a significant fruit thin was also required, and this was precisely carried out at the end of véraison with approximately one third of the crop to the ground.
The vines seem to thrive on the particularly warm ripening conditions of January and February, and we pushed harvest out as a result. The fruit was finally picked in the second week of March.
In the winery, the aim was to take the depth and vibrancy of the fruit we had, and build a wine with the presence and drive we see in great Beaujolais. The main element missing in Australian Gamay is tannin, so to address this we commenced six of the 1000-litre goon bag ferments, which are crushed and left untouched throughout ferment. There were three sub-treatments here: on skins for 12, 60 and 90 days. Upon pressing, each was distinct, and completed different pieces of the puzzle on the palate.
Whole bunch treatments, which were the other half of the fruit picked, were all 100% in one-tonne batches. They were also left longer on skins. Some were foot stomped hard, some not at all. The longest time on bunch for any of them was three weeks.
Parcels were kept separate in old puncheons for eight months. After maturation, some parcels had flavours so exaggerated they were unpalatable as stand-alone wines. However the blend of the parcels fulfils the vision, displaying the tension and confidence we had in our heads on that first day of pruning in winter 2018. - Tim Shand, Punt Road