In 2021 yields were generous and it allowed some experimentation on our Marsanne. Rather than whole bunch pressing as usual, half a tonne was destemmed and allowed to ferment on skins with occasional plunging for 12 days before pressing back to a combination of Ceramic egg and old barriques. From there it was topped with our regular Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier and then allowed to complete full malolactic fermentation as usual. No other additions were made other than a small amount of sulphur. It was then held in barrel and egg longer than usual on its gross lees for 12 months before assembling in tank and resting for a further 3 months. No filtration or fining or further stabilisation was necessary.
The wine seemed to go through many phases during its elevage, from horribly tannic to herbal to oxidative to explosively perfumed, cloudy to clear and cloudy again, and then some moments where it looked a bit tired and boring. Patience, however, was rewarded and the gangly arms and legs of youth have come back into proportion for something very interesting and moreish indeed. Ripples of ginger and pear and custard apple and pine wash in and out of the soft yet persistently amaro tinged palate, a feather of fine tannins helping to lend structure and definition. It shows the power and majesty of ripe grapes in a cool year and the rewards of persistence (or perhaps just closing one’s eyes and hoping for the best!)
"This spent 12 days on skins before being pressed to a ceramic egg and to old oak. It's a ball of flavour in the most delicious and free-flowing of ways. Stone fruits, flowers, honeys and pears with a pebbly element in there too. It's like sitting in the comfiest of cars as it drives down a gravelly road. It's seamless and rollicking at once." Silver - 92 Points
Campbell Mattinson - Halliday Wine Companion, published 03 July 2023