2017 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 2017 is silky, super-fine and super-long.

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Gum leaf/mint characters are most obvious here, but they do little but enhance the overall effect of the wine. It’s a beauty. So well structured, so fluid, so admirably flushed with red-berried fruit. Superfine is the word to use; it has that kind of finesse, that finely stitched feel. 95 points. (Campbell Mattinson)

Deep red colour with a good purple tint. The bouquet is fresh and quite pepperminty, with lots of sweet berries and clean fresh lines. The wine is the same on palate: it’s fresh and alive with abundant fruit flavour and some foresty complexities, finishing with a slightly firm tannin grip. Very good, and worth cellaring. 90/100 (Huon Hooke)

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 2016-2017 growing season started with a wet winter and cool spring, resulting in later growth but strong canopies from all the moisture. The summer was particularly hot, with consistently high temperatures from late December to late February, but then switched into a perfect, mild autumn with sunny days, cool nights and little rain. Crops were larger than expected, accordingly taking longer to ripen, but having perfect conditions to do it in. In contrast to some recent years, ripening of different varieties was well spread apart, so that vintage was measured and controlled (leisurely would be going too far!). There are bright fresh flavours in the earlier varieties, with increasing depth, colour and detail in those ripening later.


Hand picked 22 March 2017, at 13.2 Baumé. Had 6 days pre-ferment maceration, then wild-fermented in an open vat with hand plunging. Pressed to French oak (mainly one year old) after 9 days post-ferment maceration. Unfined and lightly filtered. Bottled under screwcap January 2018; 49 dozen made. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: Yes.

Drink now to 2037.