2018 was a warmer vintage than ’17, so perversely Ben & Mauricio picked the fruit less ripe than in 2017. It was picked on the ripeness of the Carignan and looked great at 20º Brix with the Cinsault at 16º. Both varieties come off of two rows from a single vineyard on Kangarilla Rd, in McLaren Vale proper. This is as close to a “Vale Floor” as you can get, dense clay soils, very flat vineyard. The vineyard is quite young, so fruit is primary, and fruit driven.
The fruit was picked in mid-March. All of the Carignan is laid into tank as whole-bunches, the Cinsault is destemmed on top. Fermentation kicked off almost immediately and the tank was sealed up. After four days on skins the wine was pressed while still sweet to neutral 500L French tonneau to finish primary fermentation as well as malolactic fermentation. It was aged sur-lie for five months with occasional lees stirring. It was racked to tank and bottled in early September without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.
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