2018 Row X Row Wine Notes
2018 Row X Row Rosé
The handpicked fruit was destemmed straight into the press without SO2 where it sat for 2 hours of extraction. The juice was cold settled for a minimum time to allow some extra solids to be included in the ferment. Once dry the wine was transferred from tank into seven and eight year old French puncheons. The lees were stirred regularly until the wine was racked out for filtering and bottling in early July.
The second vintage of the Row X Row Rosé is consistent in style with the first. The colour is a beautiful pale salmon pink while the nose reveals delicious aromas of freshly picked strawberries and the faint fragrance of fresh rose petals. The palate is lively, with raspberry and cranberry fruit and the flavours of Turkish delight. Delicate acidity and a hint of spice underneath the creamy texture add some subtle complexity. Crisp, dry and refreshing on the finish, this Grenache Rosé is easy to appreciate.
- James Halliday 94 points
2018 Row X Row Grenache
The Grenache was made using early, handpicked fruit. Approximately 30% of the whole bunches were tipped into 0.5 tonne fermenters and the rest of the fruit was destemmed, but not crushed, on top of it. The ferments were plunged three times a day and pressed off after 9 days into six-year-old French puncheons and five-year-old French hogsheads. 15% of the final wine came from one 0.5 tonne fermenter that was left an extra 6 weeks on skins before pressing and a later pick of the fruit at 14.5 Baume that had 80% whole bunches. The wine remained on yeast lees and was stirred until it was racked out for filtering and bottling in November.
Fresh and vibrant are the key characteristics of this youthful Grenache. Light cherry red in colour the nose abounds with lifted spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, fresh cherries and candy red licorice. On the palate fleshy plum and cranberry fruit is balanced beautifully with structural, stalky tannins and racy acidity. There is a lovely savoury edge to the finish. A delightful, light - medium bodied wine, even when slightly chilled on those warmer days.
- James Halliday 93 points
2018 Row X Row Mataro
The Mataro was handpicked from Redwind vineyard and separated into two batches. One had 30% whole bunches and the other was all destemmed. After 3 weeks they were basket pressed and transferred separately to old French hogsheads. The two batches underwent secondary ferment and were matured in oak for 18 months before being racked and blended for bottling. There was no fining or filtering and no additions of other varieties were used in order to respect the Mataro grape.
Deep, dark red in colour as much as flavour. Earthy and broody on the nose with underlying aromas of red plum, praline and aniseed. Dark, unctuous fruit seamlessly melds with savoury notes of spice and licorice on the palate. A medium bodied wine with fine, slightly chewy tannins and an enduring finish.
It was back to nearly "normal" for the 2018 vintage, with rainfall during the growing season much below average and harvest a month earlier than 2017. With sub-soil moisture still high from the very wet conditions of 2016 and above average winter rainfall, good canopy growth was expected. Spring rainfall was low and warmer than average temperatures throughout the season helped speed up vine growth. Summer rainfall was much below average resulting in significantly more irrigation than usual.Temperatures were above average, with readings above 30 degrees for a period of 13 days from mid-January. These conditions, combined with lower yields, meant harvest began a month earlier than in 2017. Quality of fruit was excellent with a generally good balance of flavours, sugar and acid.