Petane Late Harvest Edelzwicker 2020
Balance is the name of this wine game, and this late harvest beauty is searingly sweet, offset by some delicate summer fruits and a splash of acidity in the background. We could not have asked Hue the weather god for better late harvest growing conditions. With almost zero rain, picking commenced and finished on the 17th of June. The wax-eyes were a challenge in the last couple of weeks; to keep them away called upon many hours on the trusty quad bike, up and down the rows, along with scarecrows, kites and bangers but it was well worth the effort and sleepless nights!
Warm, dry conditions prevailed for the entire 2020 vintage. It was a true adventure to leave four different grape varieties on
the vine for three months after we started picking the first grapes. To see them hang out in the sun, then to see all the leaves fall, leaving the vine completely naked, then the dewy mornings followed by some heavy frosts. One morning, if I had the inclination, I could have made an ice wine - yep the grapes were frozen! A week later it was time to pick, and not a moment too soon; after the grapes were picked it rained for three days solid. The Viognier struggled to get super high brix and the birds attacked this block as it is right next to some mature native trees. Viognier only made 1% of the blend. The gewurztraminer on the other hand was full noble with raisons making up 7%. We lost about half the Chardonnay clone 548 as they became dried out raisons and the Chardonnay 95 clone was perfect (30%), beautiful and sweet. Pinot Gris (62%) held on remarkably well, with maybe 5% noble rot, wonderful sweet flavours, with an overall combined brix of 28.8.
Edelzwicker is a centuries old, Alsatian wine term taken from the German words ‘Edel’ (noble) and ‘Zwicker’ (blend). A true Edelzwicker is made from noble grape varieties all picked on the same day and from the same vineyard, giving a pure expression of the vintage and terroir.
All four of our noble grapes went into the making of this wine; Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier were picked on the same day, destemmed and left over night to increase juice extraction and flavour from the skins and seeds.
The grapes and juice were then put into the press for a slow 8 hour press cycle. Once pressed the juice was fermented in a stainless-steel tank. Cooling was put on the tank when we were happy with the balance between acidity and residual sugar, I was aiming for 130 grams, we finished up with 118 g/L, it takes a while for the breaks to come on with the cooling, that yeast just wants to keep gobbling up the sugar. Lightly fined, filtered then bottled into 375 mL flint riesling bottles, only 112 eight packs have been produced.
PICKING DATE: 17th June 2020
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 113.6
BOTTLING DATE: 30 September 2020