Caledonia Australis Pinot Noir 2021
The 2020/21 growing season was framed early on by a block of 45 days from mid September that threw 20 rain days and about 170mm of rain at us in endless squalls of rain. Yes, it was a La Nina season but the descriptors of East Kulin seasons suited the season we had far better. The vines grew rapidly with looser, larger bunches than usual and we had to work hard to protect the constantly emerging leaves from disease. Poornet is a far better term for this version of spring. The typically short season of Buath Gurru gave us endless grass to mow and great difficulty maintaining order under-vine with the limited organic tools we use. By December we start to get a feel for the back half of the season and the likely harvest window with clues coming from kangaroo apples in the low country and tomatoes and the old jacaranda higher up. The tension between elegance and concentration was evident in the fruit with larger berries and shaded bunches causing us to trim and pluck – angling for as much concentration as we could bring. This was the first season since the Black Summer and it became evident early on the that the quantity and mix of birds had changed. Normally we wouldn’t net till we saw that the ravens feeding on grasshoppers were running out of food. The protein on the ground is much more compelling to them than a few partially veraised berries. This season was different. The quantity of ravens was beyond what our well trained magpies could handle and the job of chasing them away and keeping them moving was just too much to ask. We netted earlier than we wanted, knowing that getting vines netted in a high disease season had its risks. Ripening occurred slowly with occasional warm days introducing a thread of concentration into otherwise classically composed fruit.
Pale bright watermelon with a light purply/watermelon coloured hue
Floral and pretty with lifted aromas of cranberries, red currants, stewed rhubarb and beetroot.
Svelt and tight with focussed clean acidity and ethereally fine tannins that surprise with their gentle grip and length.
Our winemaking varies only subtly from year to year with fermentation and MLF allowed to proceed naturally or with a pied de cuve. The 2021 vintage saw only 5% whole bunches in the ferments as the flavours where only just inside our target window so any flirtation with greener tannins and flavours seemed pointless.. We loved the skin tannins though so we aggressively chased them with hand working of the small batches. I love the tactile aspect of seeing and touching the skins each day and monitoring their breakdown. Though the colour was light, the ferments showed a focussed and tight wine emerging so most batches where pressed off skins at the end of ferment. After settling, the wine was then racked to a mix of old barrels and concrete tanks for MLF and elevage. After reviewing the wines mid winter the decision was made to bottle in late August 2021 – our earliest bottling ever.
Price per 6 pack