2016 Rock Block

Rock Block is our original patch of Tempranillo, full of the limestone and volcanic rhyolite typical of the vineyard. Always the most fragrant parcel of Tempranillo, the 2016 has particularly savoury, fine tannin.

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Winemaker's Notes

One of three single-site bottlings of Tempranillo, selected for their distinctive character from within our 9.3Ha vineyard. Rock Block (0.363Ha, 670-680m elevation) is our original patch of tempranillo, planted in 2000 mainly to clone D8V12 with small amounts of requena, tinta roriz, D8V13 and CL770. The short east-facing rows span a reef of rhyolite, with limestone intermixed; it is among the rockiest patches in our vineyard, but has well-structured red clay-loam soil allowing good root penetration. The stand of yellow box trees below one corner of the block causes some devigoration, and contributes eucalypt-derived aromatics to the wine; it is always the most fragrant parcel.

The 2015-2016 season was our warmest to date (as measured by Growing Degree Days), illustrating the ongoing effect of global warming. Very hot weather in early Spring ensured that the season was early throughout, with the commencement of harvest (5th Feb for sparkling base) being another record. The season was generally benign, with a warm stretch of weather from mid-February to mid-March bringing many varieties to ripeness at a rapid rate. Irrigation during this time was important to most blocks, and ensured that good yields of high quality fruit were harvested. 2016 would be considered a standout vintage for us if it weren’t slightly shaded by 2015, with the best of the two depending on variety.

Hand picked 23 March 2016, at 13.1 Baumé. Had 5 days pre-ferment maceration, then wild-fermented in an open vat with hand plunging. Pressed to French oak (mainly one year old) after 7 days post-ferment maceration. Lightly fined and filtered. Bottled under screwcap January 2017; 47 dozen made. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: No (fined with gelatin).

Drink now to 2029.