The Westgate Vineyard, planted in 1969 in the hills south of the town of Great Western in the Grampians, has been consistently and unquestionably our highest quality grape source, and we have made wine from these vines since our first vintage in 2004.
R. Lane Vintners represents the finest wine we have made and is only released in exceptional years. 2020 certainly was exceptional, given the tiny yields managed from a cold and very wet flowering period - Only 30% of our ‘average’ crop. We picked on March 14th, which is a little ahead of average, but not due to heat, but due to a tiny crop of just 1.9 tonnes. The wine was fermented with ambient yeasts in 1000lt oak fermenters, one destemmed and the other as whole bunches. It was pressed after three and a half weeks on skins. The batches were individually matured for eleven months in barrel (this year all barriques to give more options with the small crop in the final blend) before a final ‘best barrels’ selection was blended. In 2020 it comprised 50% whole bunches, and approximately 25% new oak. It was then bottled with no fining or filtration, as we aim to do. The wine this year shows cooler vintage characters, crushed dried herbs, red fruits, and lots of cinnamon and nutmeg character. It is certainly a more savoury expression than 2019, and should benefit from medium-term cellaring to show its full potential. It has already won significant critical praise as a young wine, a testament to the quality of the site in an otherwise difficult year, and I think will deliver a lot of enjoyment at the table.
Only 65 dozen produced, so it will be gone quickly!
"Wild-yeast fermentation with 50% whole bunches in oak fermenters. Rory Lane has been working with the Westgate vineyard since 2004 and knows it well. Intense, deep purple-red colour, a good indication of what follows. Lane has worked ripeness and richness into a smooth result: blood plum, black fruits, chocolate, licorice and signature Grampians pepperiness. Tannins are firm and free flowing. Finishes with a touch of amaro bitters. Complex and still so very young."
Jeni Port - 96 points, Halliday Wine Companion.