Vintage 2013 in Petaluma’s Evans Vineyard in Coonawarra in South Australia’s South East was preceded by a beautiful wet autumn and winter, but then an incredibly dry spring and summer. Happily the old vines, planted in 1968 received 38mm of soaking rain in November, freshening the vineyard beautifully.
The fruit from the old vines was hand picked on the 13th of March and trucked to our winery in the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills.It was then destemmed, crushed and chilled, the must cold soaked in a Potter fermenter for four days, before being inoculated with our chosen yeast strain to conduct the alcoholic fermentation. Once the fermentation was underway, the fermenting juice was drained away from the skins to another tank once per day and then pumped back up, refloating the skins and submerging them under the heading boards. This gently helps extract colour, tannin and flavour.
Just over half way through the alcoholic fermentation we introduced a strain of bacteria to conduct the malo-lactic fermentation (MLF), the conversion of hard malic acid to softer lactic acid. After two weeks on skins and at sugar dryness the wine was drained off, the skins pressed and the resulting wine transferred to new French oak barrels, predominantly from our favoured cooper, Dargaud et Jaegle. For the 2013 wine we chose barriques from the forests of Alliers and Nevers in the centre of France. The wine remained in oak for 22 months before an egg white fining to help clarification and to soften tannins, followed by a gentle filtration to bottle in February 2015.