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Wine, olives, figs, food and functions... there's a lot happening at di Lusso Estate!

 

Robert Fairall
 
22 February 2015 | Robert Fairall

Vintage 2015

Well, we’re halfway through a very interesting vintage indeed! One that started with an extraordinary warm, dry spring…then a markedly cool and somewhat humid summer. Now that the end of summer is literally a week away, in taking stock of the journey so far, I can say I would have settled for the outcome so far any day.

As I write, we’ve harvested our Aleatico and Lagrein (or half of them), Barbera, Pinot Grigio, Arneis, some Chardonnay and Savignan (both from an adjacent vineyard, for blending into our Adagio and Allegro styles).  Next week, its the turn of Sangiovese and Vermentino (and the remaining Aleatico and Lagrein).

Volumes have for the most part been on target, and we’re pleased with fruit quality, and wine,maker David Kyngdon (whose feet we see appearing under the press) is working enormous hours keeping up with nature!

Time Posted: 22/02/2015 at 4:44 PM
Robert Fairall
 
22 December 2014 | Robert Fairall

Winery Report

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?

Time Posted: 22/12/2014 at 5:17 PM
Robert Fairall
 
22 November 2014 | Robert Fairall

Vineyard Report

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.

Time Posted: 22/11/2014 at 5:35 PM
Robert Fairall
 
22 September 2014 | Robert Fairall

How to Prune Figs - Video

Video 1

Video 2 

Time Posted: 22/09/2014 at 4:46 PM