2021 Sangiovese, Margaret River $35.00
Again, we continue to the challenge the norm for expected varietals grown within the Margaret River region by producing our third vintage of Sangiovese. Although our vintage in Tuscany seems like a distant past memory, the taste of a great Chianti is still very fresh in our minds and although we are not trying to replicate a Chianti, we are drawing on the traditional techniques we acquired from our time in Tuscany and putting our new world, Margaret River contemporary spin on the varietal.
This is a rare Margaret River expression of this variety and made in tiny amounts. Our Sangiovese aims to showcase a fruit forward wine with present tannins and great natural acidity. By embracing carbonic maceration our Sangiovese earns the title of ‘Juicy Banger’ and is the perfect fresh, juicy wine to go with friends and food.
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Tasting Notes ~ Download PDF
Lucky for us, the 2021 vintage came in behind a ripper growing season the previous year. The mild spring in 2020 made for great conditions 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 around, 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 and 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.
The rainfall however 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 Sangiovese fruit is sourced from a single vineyard in the Wilyabrup sub region of Margaret River. 40% of the fruit was hand harvested to allow for that percentage of whole bunch fermentation, whilst the remaining 60% was mechanical harvested in mid March.
The mechanically harvested grapes were tipped on top of hand harvested whole bunches to allow for carbonic maceration to occur and start fermenting from the inside out. Following this, the fermentation vessel was opened up and allowed to ferment in an open environment with hand plunging carried out three time daily. After a two week ferment on skins, it was then pressed to a mixture of Hungarian oak hogshead and older French oak barriques. The wine was then matured on oak for a period of six months before being bottled. The decision to use Hungarian oak was influenced from our time spent in Italy, as this was the preferred oak when working with Sangiovese, where the tighter grain tends to bring out a leaner, spicier element of the flavour profile of the oak.
We aim for minimal intervention to let the fruit express itself, yet there are certain things we do need to maintain the quality and integrity of this wine. We’ve added minimal sulphites to stabilise the wine and ensure its shelf life and have coarsely filtered it prior to bottling.
In a glass the wine presents with a vibrant crimson red colour, appreciated clearly through the flint bottle. The nose is lively and aromatic with spicy cherry aromas you would expect from the addition of 40% whole bunch and the subsequent carbonic maceration that resulted.
On the palate, our 2021 Sangiovese is more similar to the 2019 Sangiovese than the 2020. It is a superb fruit-driven mouth-feel wine, balanced by beautiful tannins that you would expect from the Italian varietal and tangy acid. A hint of clove, cherry and spicy plum reaches the mid palate.
Drinking Best2021 - 2026