Terre à Terre is proud to present its second release of Rouge (red) blend coming from its very unique closespaced vineyard in Wrattonbully, South Australia.
This vineyard has been baptised the Crayères Vineyard, after the chalk cellars that are found throughout Xavier’s region of birth in Champagne, France. Similar natural structures are found underneath this very special vineyard, and they are now the subject of a research project led by a team from the University of Adelaide as they are full of undisturbed ancient fossilised remains.
The Crayères vineyard is located next to Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard, at the top of a north-south limestone ridge in Wrattonbully, one of Australia’s most exciting regions. The Terra Rossa top-soil is characteristic of the area. This part of the vineyard was planted on rootstocks in 2008 using cuttings from the neighbouring Whalebone Vineyard and French clones and at a relatively high density for the area (4,444 vines per hectare, similar to the density of vineyards in Saint Emilion). The fruiting wire is only 50cm above ground, which is why the local vignerons call the vines the “low vines”.
The 2015 growing season started early, with dry and mild weather favouring slow but very good flowering and fruit set in all varieties. For the red varieties, véraison was slow after an early start. The Crayères vineyard did not experience any severe heatwaves in 2015, apart from a couple of days reaching close to a maximum of 40 degrees in January and in February. Both months were quite warm on average. The red varieties enjoyed very mild weather from véraison to harvest (all our red varieties had 8 to 9 weeks from véraison to harvest). The Heat Degree Days summation (calculated as the sum of the monthly daily mean minus 10°C for the months of October to April included) was 1,522 degree days, which is the average for Saint-Emilion (1,530 degree days). The slow ripening 2015 growing season was excellent for all our red varieties. As a result, the fruit had great colour and amazing tannins and flavours. The fruit (44% Shiraz, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc) was all handpicked late March 2015 and was of excellent quality.
The fruit was transported back to the Tiers winery in the Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills) before it was crushed and destemmed. The must was fermented in open top fermenters. After fermentation and maceration, the must was pressed off skins and racked to old 225L French oak barriques where it aged for 8 months. It was then racked off lees to a two-year old 4,300L foudre where it aged for a further 14 months. The wine was racked off lees to tank and the final blend was egg-white fined before being bottled without filtration late February 2017.
This Experimental Assemblage for Terre à Terre is probably one of the most independent-minded wines of our range, demonstrating how well Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc work together in an blend, without too much oak interference. The aromas are different to the 2014 with more fruit and spice. The palate is more generous than the 2014, with very soft of mulberry fruit and mellowed tannins, with great length. Only 590 dozen were produced.
In bottle analysis (AWRI): Alcohol = 14.7%v/v, pH = 3.55, TA = 5.5 g/L, VA = 0.46 g/L
Winemaker: Xavier Bizot
Tasting note: PDF file