Wine, olives, figs, food and functions... there's a lot happening at di Lusso Estate!
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 (2015). 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?
Whew! Mudgee drew a collective sigh of relief as we approach the end of November 2014 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.