Spring 2017 Newsletter

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Spring 2017 Newsletter
It’s good to start with a weather report… a bit like the nightly news but in reverse order! The weather (climate actually) sets up the vintage and no amount of winemaking ‘magic’ can over-ride the fruit created by the vintage.
As is the new ‘norm’, records are tumbling across the eastern states with multiple sites in N.S.W and Queensland topping 40 degrees C in September. In the South and East of Tasmania some sites are experiencing the 2nd driest start to spring but here in the North it’s business as usual, with a decidedly wet end to winter and start of spring. This suits us just fine as, without irrigation, we need good soil moisture levels at depth to carry us through summer. Budburst is a bit late with the soil cold and wet but the last week has been frost-free and mild and the garden has sprung back to life. A bit of good news from the Bureau of Meteorology…we should have our first days over 20C this coming weekend!!!
Over the winter we have had two new blocks drained and disced up as a lead up to new plantings. On the house side of the driveway the soil was very heavy clay and on the opposite side the soil was silty grey sand. With the help of our ‘super-worker’ Vittorio, we have resurrected our nursery beds and planted cuttings of Pinot Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay and Malvasia Bianca which will be planted next winter on the clay soil. This will allow us to increase our volumes of Pinot Blanc and the Byzantine blend.
The following winter will see cuttings of Cabernet Franc and Lagrein go into the nursery to eventually add to our The Mattock and Romanesque blends.
Over winter we have improved our fencing to keep out the wildlife. Our dogs were getting exhausted chasing the wallabies through the garden at night and we were getting exhausted hearing their excited barking at 2 A.M each night.
Vittorio also had the pleasure (!) of spreading 2 tonnes of pelletised chook poo, by hand, through the vineyards. It’s been a while since they had a feed and it was showing in places, with some vines not producing a suitable 6 bud cane last season. It’s tough here at Grey Sands for a grapevine, but if you are a believer in ‘terroir’ then they have to live off the land.
Now … the Tasmanian White Wine Weekend (TWWW) is coming up on the 28th and 29th of October at the usual venue of No. 1 Princes Wharf right on the waterfront in Hobart opposite the Salamanca precinct. What could be more perfect for a weekend diversion? https://www.eventfinda.com.au/2017/tasmanian-white-wine-weekend-20172/hobart

We will be showing our new releases of 2015 Pinot Gris and 2015 Byzantine plus our monumental 2013 Pinot Gris to show what is possible with cellaring a good Pinot Gris.
A third new release that you won’t see at the TWWW is The Mattock 2014….but you can come & try it at one of our Open Weekends…first (full) weekend of the month from now until April. The next one coincides with the Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine…we’re open 10am to 6pm so you can call in on your way to or from the Craft Fair!
This is the 3rd vintage of this blend and for me it is the most ‘seamless’ so far with a wonderful poise. This is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Malbec and 10 % Cabernet franc. I look forward to seeing the response to this wine as I believe it show-cases a Bordeaux style that can be achieved in the cool climate of Tasmania.
Here are the tasting notes for these new releases-

2015 Pinot Gris 14.8% alc
Mid straw in colour, the nose is met by rich aromas of crystallized pineapple, custard apple and a lily of valley floral lift. The palate is full bodied with deep ripe fruit, dense texture and some ginger and quince astringency to balance on a very long finish.

2015 Byzantine 14.2% alc
A blend of Chardonnay, Viognier and Malvasia Bianca.
Pale gold in colour, the nose shows delicate aromas of white melon, glace fruit and dried apricot. The palate is taut with nectarine fruit, fresh acidity and a slight citrus peel astringency, leaving a clean, dry finish.

2014 The Mattock 13.0% alc
Deep red with purple hue, this wine has some complexity already on the nose, ripe red and black berries with savoury notes of pencil shavings, black pepper and toasted oak. A mid weight palate, good fruit, moderate tannins with plenty of length, makes this fine drinking at present but with more rewards ahead for those with cellars.

And just as a reminder….
2013 Pinot Gris 15.3% alc
Mid straw in colour, the nose has an exotic mix of peach, papaya and tropical florals.
The palate is expansive and full bodied with lush fruit and spicy aromatics providing a very long finish.

Ploughing new bed

Ploughing new bed

Vittorio rotovating the nursery bed

Vittorio rotovating the nursery bed

Vittorio starting to plant cuttings

Vittorio starting to plant cuttings

All cuttings planted

All cuttings planted