2021 Rosé, Margaret River $30.00
Our 2021 Rosé is made from free run Muscat à Petit Grains, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Muscat delivers a blush tone with lifted floral notes and the natural sweetness is balanced with a blend of barrel fermented Chenin Blanc and Pinot Gris, which also provide a layer of texture and a savoury line. A beautiful dry style wine, ready just in time for Spring.
Aromatic. Peachy. Fresh.
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The intent as always for our Rosé is to capture the vibe of summer livin’ down south – that uniquely summer feeling of being free and having fun. This vintage we used a blend of Muscat Rouge à Petits Grains and Chenin Blanc to create the base for our Rosé. We wanted to give the 2021 vintage a little more edge and build on lifting the aromatics. Similarly with the last vintage, we have tried to make an uncomplicated dry style Rosé, with some subtle complexities.
Backing up off the success of our previous Rosés, we wanted our fifth vintage of Rosé to be even more elevated. The different base varietals in the 2021 provide the backbone of the wine, which delivers the fruit sweetness, vibrancy, and structure. The depth and texture comes from the smaller additions of barrel fermented Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. These aromatic whites add a layer of complexity and tighten the wine with a distinctive savoury element, heighten the aromatics, and provide mouth feel that can sometimes be missed with rosé. On the nose there is a very pretty floral character coupled with ripe stone fruits and hints of spice. The palette maintains a slightly more savoury, structure driven appearance with bright crunchy acidity that is softened by the lushness of the Muscat fruit. The intricacies of multiple varieties come together to create a summer drink that is complexly put together yet deliciously uncomplex to drink.
Lucky for us, the 2021 vintage came in behind a ripper growing season the previous year. The mild spring in 2020 made for great condition and a solid foundation for vintage 2021. In general, budburst and flowering was fairly normal, yields were slightly better than 2020 but still lower than average on the whole, and Marri tree blossom was flowering which helped reduce the bird pressure. The unlucky part of vintage 2021 was the weather systems that resulted from La Niña and labour shortages due to Covid.
Weatherwise, the long-lasting cyclone season in the north west translated to increased rainfall in the south west – specifically in November, then again in February through to April. Fortunately, December and January were dry and warmer than normal months which allowed for some early ripening which raised hopes of an ‘easy’ vintage – that was until a combination of tropical lows came in in late January and soaked the south west in February. As far as cyclones go, there were four names that will be embedded in the minds of viticulturalists – Joshua, Lucas, Marian and Seroja. Joshua started the rain dance in late January and Seroja finished the dance party in April.
However, the rainfall was a pro and a con, it soaked deep into the soils and was great for later ripening varietals – particularly in our dry grown vineyards, however the warm weather combined with high humidity increased the risk of botrytis disease pressure. Fortunately, our model of spending more time in the vineyard than the winery paid off, with the extra attention given to canopy structure early on in the vintage. The effort put to shoot thinning, fruit dropping and leaf plucking was rewarded in good clean fruit.
Our general take on vintage 2021 was that although it was challenging and exhausting in the vineyards, the effort paid off with clean fruit harvested. The varieties that went into our Rosé produced incredible flavour – at lower baumes than usual, with higher natural acids, which for us translated to a purity and varietal expression of elegance, including the Muscat and Chenin which were harvested at lower sugars and higher acids than normal. Both base varietals were harvested in early March by a mechanical selective harvester which dropped all green and spit berries to ensure a consistent fruit selection in the Muscat and Chenin Blanc. The Muscat was sourced from the Treeton sub-region on Margaret River, the Chenin Blanc is organic and was sourced from Churchview Estate.
The Muscat was destemmed, crushed and held on skins for approximately 6 hours until the ideal colour extraction had been achieved. It was then lightly pressed under inert conditions capturing the free run juice. The majority of the juice was inoculated with a complementary yeast strain to protect the aromatics, and fermented in a stainless-steel tank, whilst the remaining juice was transferred to older French oak barrels, wild fermented and matured on lees. The barrels were then blended into the stainless tank along with approximately the same amount of barrel fermented Chenin Blanc. A couple of barrels of Pinot Gris pressings were added for phenolic weight and texture, along with a barrel of Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon for acid and aromatics and a barrel of Pinot Noir for a colour punch – as no carbon was used to make this wine.
In the winery we aim for minimal intervention to let the fruit express itself, yet there are certain things we need to do to maintain the quality and integrity of this wine, as such we’ve added minimal sulphites to stabilise the wine and ensure its shelf life. It has also been lightly fined to remove suspended solids, cold stabilised, and sterile filtered. We use these methods as opposed to using chemicals as it is gentle and does not strip flavour, creating a final, high quality polish.
In a glass the Rosé is a translucent pale peach shade. The nose is fresh and bright, with floral and spice scents with a slight citrus hint hidden amongst the aromatics of the Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. The natural fruit sweetness of this wine is balanced by a lively mineral acidity, a dash of savoury spice, and added length provided by the oak. This is a well-balanced Rosé with great mouthfeel and clarity, a little edge from the barrel ferment and clean acidity to finish.