The earliness of vintage 2016 was largely climatic, but a bit lunar as well.
The flowering of the vines occurred during a very warm, dry spell – perfect conditions for an even fruit set. Those conditions endured throughout Christmas and into January. We had just enough rainfall (in two big events) to squeak us through – but it was touch and go there for a while. The early Easter (the first full moon after the vernal equinox being late March) reminds us that nature takes its cues from the moon – and will not be argued with!
The warm vintage lead to a riper, richer wine than the ’15. Less perfumed, but gutsier. Handpicked, aiming for fruit flavours in the blackcurrant spectrum.
Single block wine, as with the 2014 and 2015. Block 3, planted in 1987. SA125 clone.
The emphasis is always on aqueous maceration here, doing the grunt work in pump overs and plunges during cold soak and at the start of fermentation.Post ferment, the wine is pressed earlier than our neighbours. New oak is a mix of Taransaud, Saury and Bossuet. 25% new. Remaining is 2nd and 3rd use French barriques. It gets the best oak treatment of any Punt Road wine by a mile. Bottled in June 2017
Vineyard: Napoleone Block 3
Soil type: Sandy loam on clay base
Aspect: North East
Clones : SA125
Coopers: Taransaud, Bossnet, Saury