2020 Riesling Lab

Celebrating the spirit of experimentation each year, our Riesling Lab has emerged as a fun opportunity for our cellar crew to geek out over our beloved variety. 

Pouring a golden yellow hue with a noticeable viscosity in the glass, aromas are abundant here with big notes of honeycomb, orange creamsicle and roasted Gala apple. Lilac flowers and a touch of banana bread with spicy ginger round out the profile. The palate has wonderful density and textural interest with flavours of peach skin and charred apricot, maple syrup, lychee and dried mango. Long and delicious.

The 10th release of this experimental wine saw the “hard pressings” (when we press a little firmer into the grape skins to extract a more textural juice) of all of our Riesling blocks kept separate and fermented wild in old oak puncheons and barriques, which previously housed Chardonnay.

With a focus on acidity and how it drives balance and structure for this year’s cellar experiment, we trialed several small lot acid additions. We decided to take the wine a little drier than we have in the past and forgo the addition of acidity to the bulk of the juice. This meant the balance for the wine was driven more by phenolics and a small amount of sugar rather than the heavier sweetness versus acidity balance of previous iterations. The wine was then aged on fermentation lees for 4 months prior to bottling.

TECHNICAL INFO

Varietal: 100% Riesling
Alcohol: 12.0%
Residual Sweetness: 13.67 g/L
pH: 3.59
Total Acidity: 6.5 g/L

VINTAGE NOTES

The 2020 vintage will be remembered as a small but mighty one, in a year we will of course never forget. Although challenging, it gifted us some of the best quality fruit we have seen in years. Mirroring the winter of 2019, a cold snap of under -20 C in late February harmed several vines and buds but fortunately damage was not as extensive as the previous year. Above average rainfall in May charged the soil with water and gave the vines everything they needed to hit the ground running after bud break. A period of cool and wet weather in early July coincided with flowering, unfortunately resulting in uneven berry set across the property.

Summer was about as good as the vineyard crew could have hoped for: lots of sunshine, warm temperatures but not too much excessive heat. Vine growth caught up but we eased into harvest a week later than usual, in the second week of September. Luckily, smoky skies on the early days of harvest quickly dissipated so that we enjoyed clear days for the remainder of harvest. Dry conditions and mild temperatures allowed us to pick each block at perfect maturity. Unlike in previous years, the first frost (and snow!) did not arrive until late October, and we escaped harvesting our last bunches in whiteout conditions by only 12 hours.