This ‘yetti-like’ (in that it is rarely seen) Spanish variety in Australia (or anywhere for that matter) takes on an entirely different life in the hands of Dave and Koen. It is dazzling and bewildering yet familiar notes are aplenty…when nailed properly as it was originally planted as a distillation grape so it is large and rather baseline in notes. The gnarly old vines come from a small vineyard in Williamstown in the southern Barossa on gravelly sand. In order to put the ‘El’ in ‘El Doradillo’ the amigos decided to do some serious skin contact experiments creating a textural nirvana of sorts. The block (a few rows) is a real head scratcher according to Dave. One day it is a physically hard and innocuous grape and the following day they are large nuggets of sweetness and ample texture.
The boys picked the fruit when the acid is about to entirely disappear and then really make a mess of things. They are brought into the winery where one third is immediately locked into a two-ton stainless vessel to ferment whole bunch. Another third ferments separately whole-berry. The final third is pressed to juice and poured over the rest like a giant tea bag to gently extract the tannins and flavors from skins and stems. The skins are plunged a few times a day by hand/foot for two weeks. The wine is then stirred-up 2-3 times a day for one month. The wine was then pressed from the skins and the lots were combined in stainless-steel for four months of aging. It was bottled without fining or filtration, and just 40 ppm sulfur.