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. The 2021 vintage in McLaren Vale has been called one of the best of the 21st century. Growing season temperatures were overall higher than in recent years, but nighttime summer temperatures were cooler than average, creating helpful diurnal swings and drawn out ripening. 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 grapes were picked in two waves, one early and herbaceous, one later for generosity, blended to make one complete wine. The first pick was in early March and the second the last week of March. 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.