Sometimes, you just have to follow the heart…after years of making wine the "normal" way, we wanted to try something different. What about a skin-fermented white wine? What about no additives except a very small amount of sulphur dioxide before bottling? Wine made the way it has been for thousands of years??
It's a revolution for us, so we named it "Thermidor", the eleventh month in the French Revolutionary calendar (and it was picked on the last day of Thermidor).
Region: Estate-grown Composition: Sauvignon Blanc 100%
Harvest date: 20 February
A difficult season with high disease pressure but we came through well with the grapes in remarkable condition. Some cool nights helped retain flavour and acidity in the Sauvignon Blanc.
We aren't very interventionist in our winemaking anyway but in this case it was completely hands-off. Whole bunches placed in a small open fermenter--the natural yeasts kicked off the ferment four days later and away it went. Malo-lactic fermentation also took place naturally during this time. After pressing, we matured the wine in tank for several months, added a small amount of sulphur dioxide (about one-third of our usual addition) and bottled in July 2018.
Analysis: Alcohol: 12.5% pH: 3.60 T/A: 5.7 g/l
Fuller in colour than most white wines due to the fermentation on skins.
Unique aromas of passionfruit and other tropical notes with a savoury, spicy element.
The palate is rich, generous and surprisingly complex. Softer with more roundness than usual (due in part to the natural malo-lactic fermentation). This wine is about texture and mouth-feel as well as flavour.
You could call it a natural wine….but whatever it is, intrigue and difference are its features.
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