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2017 Jeanneret Botrytis Semillon

2017 Jeanneret Botrytis Semillon

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2017 Botrytis Semillon

The Story
Botrytis is one of those funny things that only nature could come up with. It’s a rot (so, in theory, not at all good for grapes), but in the right conditions, and on the right grapes, it acts in a terribly cunning way and removes most of the water from the berries, leaving a winemaker with a super-intense flavour essence (so, in practice, very good for grapes and even better for wine drinkers) – and that’s what has earned it the name ‘noble rot’. And in 2017 the Semillon in two of our vineyards got infected with excellent botrytis, so we were presented with a fabulous opportunity to make something outstandingly delicious. As the grapes were being crushed the aroma in the winery was stunning. Natural yeast then fermented the juice to the point where the flavour, the sweetness and the acidity all seemed in perfect balance. At that point we stepped in and stopped the ferment by rapidly chilling it down to close to zero. After that we aged one parcel (about 50%) in new French oak for 49 months, and that looked so good that we filled more (another 38%) to more new French oak for 26 months, while a small balance remained in stainless steel for freshness. Finally, the three batches were blended and you’ll see how the oak has given lovely depth, complexity and layers of flavour to the wine.

The Wine
This is a wine you can just sit and lose yourself in, in just the bouquet, and then later the palate – a real vin de meditation as the French would say. So, what have we got? Well, there’s gorgeous honey, quince (lots of delicious quince), marmalade, candied lemon, ginger, pineapple and lime, dried apricot, nectarine and orange, and these are joined by some toast, vanilla, cinnamon and anise, a touch of marzipan and honeycomb, hints of barley sugar and coconut, and everything’s given a floral lift by some honeysuckle, jasmine and a little orange blossom. And the palate’s just as glorious and hedonistic with lush fruit, racy acidity and wonderful texture from its time in new French oak.

Winemaking Notes
Fermentation: 9 days
Fermentation Temp: 14.4°C
Time in Oak: 26-49 months
Wild Yeast

Growing Conditions
Location: Sevenhill & Watervale
Harvest Date: 17/08/2017
Elevation: 510m, 430m
Pre-harvest Diurnal Range: 10.5°C
Growing Season Rainfall: 837mm

Food Pairing
It’s lovely on its own – you can have it as pudding - or you can try it with simple, sweet, crisp, plain, buttery biscuits, or an apricot tart, or apple pie, and even blue cheeses (thinking more Roquefort than Stilton). Plain strawberries are an excellent match too. And an open bottle lasts a long time in the fridge (though it probably won’t). And you could even macerate halved strawberries in the wine with a little caster sugar and that’d be a marriage made in heaven.

Varieties: Semillon
Vintage: 2017
Country: Australia
Region: Clare Valley
Alcohol: 11.5%
Bottle size: 500 mL

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