VITICULTURE & WINEMAKING
Minimal intervention was deployed in growing the viognier grapes to make this wine. The vines were not pruned, but their skirts were mechanically raised to reduce yield, improve airflow within the canopy and achieve a harvestable height. Some vines had 500 bunches before skirting, a high bunch number that reduced berry set and produced very open bunches. The grapes were left to their natural defences, allowing a noble fungus infection to occur after 55m of rain fell on 8 April. Slow steady development of the botrytis infection evolved in dry conditions into April. The grapes were mechanically harvested on 3 June at 5am when the temperature was -5Co, classifying the wine as a natural ice wine. However, the grapes did not freeze due to the high sugar content, which was 40% of the berry weight. Half of the grapes displayed the noble fungus infection. The grapes were immediately pressed and the meagre juice yield was settled and fermented with wild yeast. Thankfully these yeasts were capable of fermenting high sugar grapes to high alcohol levels. The wine was fermented for nine months in oak, 50% new and 50% old. The only addition to the wine was a little sulphur at bottling.
Dolcino, a ‘little sweetie’, displays characteristic spicy ginger notes and delicate
citrus peel, complexed by a hint of lime marmalade emanating from the botrytis. The
palate is balanced and luscious with a long, lingering finish.