A Vintage Report
Whew! Mudgee drew a collective sigh of relief as we approach the end of November with vineyards building canopy well….no frost damage anywhere, and apart from the odd caterpillar, no lurking problems out there.
What a difference from late spring last year, where by now we (at least di Lusso Estate) had lost 80% of our crop.
It’s dry and dry however – right now we’re 25% off our average rainfall for the year. Well and truly el nino territory. But to look on the bright side, we’ve been practically organic so far this season…no downy mildew, no botrytis, consistent fruit set so far, and our underground water remains sweet.
So for a few of us, it’s about being out early, going from vine to vine plucking unwanted shoots and suckers throughout the vineyard, inter-planting baby vines where needed, preparing for a grafting program later this month. Then we escape into the winery to escape the heat of a very fierce spring to ‘do admin’ before heading back into the fields towards sunset. No peace for the wicked in what is a seven day, twelve hour week this time of year!
Although olives are not a major part of our business, at this early stage it looks like we’ll be getting our biggest crop for more than five years (but I hasten to add that fruit set has only just begun).
And my friends the figs – which suffered cruelly last year from frost – are showing much better form following a harder than usual pruning.
In summary…so far so good for vintage 2015.
Having managed a bottling of 2014 whites in May, before month end we will be bottling a number of styles for release in the New Year. These include;
2013 Lagrein…after a couple of year’s gap, this beautiful red wine grape has produced what we think is a very smart dunkelt (dark, even big) wine, with those customary blackberry plum aromas and spicy dark fruit flavours.
2013 Nebbiolo…easily the best since 2008 – not surprising, given the long, dry autumn of 2013. All the elements are there....autumn undergrowth, violets, wood smoke etc.
2013 Chardonnay…partly out of frustration with those mean, sunshineless styles we are seeing (and how can a Chardonnay ever be styled without oak?), partly because we found some really good (but very ripe) fruit in a season when there wasn’t much else available, partly because of di Lusso’s growing Burgundy ‘connection’ (see below), this is our first. David Kyngdon has made a wine that is full of almond and hazelnut aromas, pursued by a palate that is full-bodied, covered in dried tropical fruits, and includes just a hint of butter. It’s not a Burgundy, but is at least generous! Great with rainbow trout with almonds.
2014 Adagio…with the dearth of Italian variety fruit available, this release is a blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. A light-hearted ‘Chalkboard) wine full of peach, pear and tropical fruitiness. A summer aperitif, even?
On the horizon – before Christmas – will be a bottling of our 2014 Vino Rosato – to be released in the New Year.
At di Lusso Estate vineyards, we specialize in Italian varieties and blends. We grow eight varieties of grapes;
Dry white varieties, Arneis and Vermentino.
Dry red varieties Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Lagrein.
At any one time, we might have seventeen wine styles on offer. White wines Pinot Grigio and Vermentino (two styles each), a varietal Arneis, two white blends Adagio and Allegro, and a sparkling Vivo!
We usually have two rosé styles in our range (both ‘dry’ but with a small amount of residual sugar)
Our red wine range includes Sangiovese, Lagrein and Barbera (sometimes two styles of each), a premium red blend (‘il Palio’) and a ‘ verandah’ Rosso version
Dessert wine varieties are Aleatico and Picolit (and we use Vermentino as a source grape for our sweet Appassimento style wine).
Restaurant: open Friday to Sunday 12pm-2.30pm for a la carte and pizza menu. Other weekdays our Chef's Special, Antipasto & Cheese Platters (and in winter, soup and pasta) Please note: Cucina di Lusso is a Trattoria-style restaurant intended to allow potential wine buyers the opportunity to taste our Italian varietal wines in their very best environment – in the company of food!
Ours is a very busy cellar door, with wine sales our main activity, and our small kitchen and pizza oven are just not suited to large groups wanting fast service during weekends. There are necessary constraints on the number or pizzas per table, and if we can accommodate a large booking the a la carte menu is not always available. We like to think that our offering, whilst simple, uses the best produce – local where possible – and is well cooked.
Welcome to our Spring Menu. It's intended – in both the pizza and a la carte versions – to be a blend of some traditional Italian favourites and a few dishes we haven't offered before. We invite you all to come out, taste some, and give us your thoughts!
We are pleased to present our new Wedding e-brochure – with all the information you need to plan a beautiful wedding at di Lusso Estate. Imagine your special wedding day in our vineyard setting with the gorgeous lake as a backdrop! Click here to go to our Wedding page.
We’ve thought long and hard about ways to offer more and better Loyalty Club options and service, and here is what we’ve come up with!
Existing Comune members may of course remain where they are…receiving a 10% discount on purchases, free freight for case purchases and the opportunity to increase their discount through frequent (uncommitted) purchases. ‘New’ Comune membership is available to those who purchase a case or more at cellar door, other locations or on our webshop.
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