It is a pretty exciting week this week with the 2011 Oliver’s Taranga Small Batch Fiano and the brand spanking new 2011 Oliver’s Taranga Small Batch Vermentino going down the bottling line. The culmination of a very exciting vintage, and all the work involved leading up to the moment that the wines get into bottle. It is kind of like the winemaking equivalent of tucking the kids into bed!
Will tell you a little more about the Vermentino- seeing it is our first year of production. Vermentino is a variety that has its home in a number of regions in Italy, but is most well known in Gallura, Sardinia. It is known as Rolle in France, and is found in the Languedoc and Provence. The berries of Vermentino are quite large, and are very tasty indeed. They have almost a kaffir lime, lemongrass character, with some honey flavours as well. The wine keeps the kaffir lime, thai type characters, along with a really refreshing oyster shell, sea salt aroma.
Working together with Glenn James-Pritchard of Ducks in a Row Winemakers, we split the Vermentino juice into three batches. Each batch of juice was fermented in a different way. One, was fermented with a traditional Riesling yeast, with limited lees (= the solid bits in the juice). The next batch had a higher percentage of lees, and we used a yeast that is a blend of a traditional wine yeast, and a ‘natural’ yeast. The last batch had a high percentage of lees and was left to ferment by itself- via the indigenous yeasts that are found on the fruit in the vineyard. The resultant wines had significant differences- the Riesling yeast had a bursting lift and freshness on the nose & palate, and the indigenous yeast was more muted on the nose, but with a lot of textural impact on the palate. I put together the Oliver’s Taranga blend with a higher percentage of the indigenous yeast. The Ducks In a Row blend is still in tank and barrel, so we will have to wait a while until it comes out to compare the two wines. Super exciting stuff.
The wine have been carefully transported to Torresans in McLaren Vale (http://www.torresan.com.au/) for bottling- and they have treated them with kid gloves. Into bottle they go, into cartons & onto pallets.
Watch this space- the wines will sit quietly for a couple of weeks, and then will be released. First peeps to taste will be the lucky attendees that have booked into the 2011 Sea & Vines festival. Email me at email@example.com if you would like me to put your name on the growing list to contact once the Vermentino & Fiano are released.