Three insanely dry winters in a row were met by an absurdly hot summer in Jan/Feb. Prior to this hellish heat wave, there was a hard November frost, which is completely unheard of prior to this vintage. This reduced the yields by more than 90%…thus severely limiting what little ‘commercial’ aspect this wine has ever had. That said, what was there was good…really good. The fruit comes off of the biodynamic Gemtree Vineyard in the Vale proper and is the vineyard that really pulls at the strings of Dave & Koen. The biodynamic farming of the vineyard is not limited to just the vines, but also the 300 acres of flowers, plants, etc. The harmonious biodiversity reaches across the aisle so to speak and in a tough year like 2020 worked itself out with a perfect fruit set, great foliage and dealt with the heat like a champ. 2020 was a ‘socially distanced’ year and ‘skin contact’ was often forbidden. Barrel fermented, skinsy Verdelho with half a year in wood really gives the wine some extra heft and still maintains its dexterity well. Verdelho really is an unsung hero and more of it should be planted (and consumed). It holds up perfectly to the South Australian climate, maintains acidity but has texture…Sauv Blanc, not so much.
The fruit was picked in a single pass where Y&K felt the acid and fruit hit their maximum point. The bunches were entirely destemmed and tipped into a single 32hL old oak fermenter for fermentation with foot stomping at breakfast and cocktail hour. After nearly three weeks on skins and once the wine was dry, the free run was released and the grapes were pressed and drained into old 300L tonneau for maturation. After five months the barrels were blended to tank to lightly settle and bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.