|2017 The Noble Rose|
Orange blossom, jasmine and white tea on the nose with touches of lime. The wine is delicate and has a good balance between acidity and sweetness. Honey, citrus and nougat flavours on the palate.
Cheese! Goat curd, soft brie, cheddar with quince paste. Apricot flan and icecream. Nectarines or peaches, poached apricots and mascarpone cream, passionfruit cheesecake. Salmon or oysters. Pavlova or a pear frangipane tart.
2016 was the wettest Spring we have ever experienced. 500mm of rain in the months of June, July and August were followed by a record 255mm in September - the month we would usually see things starting to dry out. Our vines burst and as things warmed up the incessant rain led to several Downy Mildew primary events which meant we needed to spray. The ground was far too wet for a tractor so we put our first two sprays on using a helicopter (which took about 15 minutes compared to my seven odd hours in the tractor!) The growing season continued to be wetter than usual and disease pressure was high. The wet and cold start delayed flowering and therefore vintage was about a month late for all our varieties. The canes were cut on the 27th April, both to concentrate the sugars and to avoid draw up of a forecast 10-15mm rain event on the following Monday. Botrytis developed over the next month and the grapes were finally deemed ready on the 30th May giving a record yield of 6.25 tonnes which, combined with the weather, explained the slow ripening.
The grapes were crushed on arrival at the winery and left to soak on skins overnight. The fermentation was stopped at 9.7% alcohol (aiming for 10%). After some maturation time in tank, the wine was clarified, stabilised and bottled. Winemaker: Michael Sykes (Lodestone)