A little bit of Loire and a little bit of the Vale and striking that balance between Chinon leafiness and McLaren Vale intensity is the key here. 2019 was a warm vintage and freakish winds devastated yields early and a January heat wave didn’t help that out. That said the attentive farming kept the leaf cover in check to protect the grapes from the heat when needed and then plucked to expose the grapes just before harvest, intensifying the tannins. The vineyard is located on the crackling clays of Willunga and while the area is renowned for its Grenache, picking Cabernet Franc on the early side brought a gentle weight to the early picked grapes.
The fruit was picked in two passes, the first in early March at 12º Baume and the second the last week of March at 13.5º Baume. The better, herbal tones of the first pick are balanced nicely by the fruit intensity of the second. The lots were destemmed and fermented separately in open top fermenters without additions and hand plunged twice daily. The first lot was pressed off after seven days on skins while the second spent closer to one month. Both pressed lots were aged in old 300L French barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally and a small amount of SO2 was added. After nine months in old barrels and semi-frequent battonage, the wine was racked to tank and bottled with a small sulfur addition.