Bannockburn Gamay 2022
Our inaugural release of Bannockburn Gamay, from a vineyard originally planted in 2014 and grafted in 2019. The site sits at the base of the north facing Olive Tree Hill vineyard and the soil is made up of mixed clay over limestone.
Minimum Order 6 Units (straight or mixed)
- Tasting Notes & Reviews
The 2022 growing season started out with substantial winter and spring rains due to La Nina but dried out around Christmas and into the new year. A warm January and February led to a very consistent and well-paced ripening period. The Gamay crop was made up of small yields due to being a young vineyard, and was picked on the 7th April with small bunches of good concentration and intensity.
Handpicked fruit was wild fermented initially utilising 100% whole bunch carbonic maceration, then destemmed and pressed to a single use barrique to finish fermentation. The wine was left undisturbed for 10 months prior to bottling.
93 points. Inaugural release of a gamay from Bannockburn. It was grown on vines that were planted in 2014, they were only grafted over to gamay in 2019. It was fermented, wild, with 100% whole bunches (cab mac) and then, while still fermenting, was destemmed and pressed to one-year-old oak. This is a gorgeous wine to drink. It’s especially gorgeous if you don’t mind some reductive characters, which are overt at first though they gradually blow off, or largely so. It’s spicy, floral, exuberant in its strawberry-cherry flavours, blessed with garden herb/earth/woodsmoke characters – it’s wildly complex – but all the while it stays true to the main mission, which is to be a light red of immesh drinkability. This is a winner. Campbell Mattinson, winefront.com.au.
The 2023 growing season started off cold and wet. For the first time since 2011 our dam was full, and in fact overflowed for most of October and November (rainfall for the calendar year of 2022 was 800mm). Budburst was slightly behind average timing, but crops were down significantly: the bunch counts were low in the first place, we had a mild frost in September and the wet weather finally caught up with us via downy mildew. The rain stopped at the end of December.
The overall heat accumulation was the same (1338 Growing Degree Days) as 2021, both seasons on the slightly cooler side of average but differing in that the heat for 2023 was more toward the second half of the season. Veraison occurred in February and then we picked Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling in March, and Shiraz and Cabernet/Merlot in the first week of April. The picking weather was pleasant and the fruit arrived at the winery in very good condition.
While quantity was down (especially in Pinot Noir) quality was good: fresh acidity, concentration, colour, tannin and steady fermentations have us looking forward to bottling, and seemingly warmer and drier seasons as El Niño returns.
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