2020 Row X Row Wine Notes
2020 Row X Row Riesling
The vinification techniques used for our Riesling remain very traditional. The fruit was harvested just after midnight at the coolest part of the day. The grapes were quickly crushed and pressed in the winery and the juice was cold settled for 48 hours before being racked, warmed and inoculated with yeast. A cold fermentation was maintained between12 and 14℃ for 14 days. The ferment was halted at 2.5g/L residual sugar to help balance the natural acid and is still considered ‘dry’ in style. The wine was heat and cold stabilised before being bottled early to capture the vibrant fruit character.
The 2020 Riesling is pale straw yellow with a slight green hue. Pretty and perfumed in the glass with a delightful combination of green apple, citrus fruit and traces of white nectarine. The palate is sublime with juicy and succulent fruit. This generosity is balanced with natural acid making for a very smooth and seamless experience, all the way to the finish.
2020 Row X Row Fiano
Handpicked in the early hours of the morning from a vineyard in McLaren Vale, the fruit was crushed and pressed to a stainless steel tank to limit oxidation and preserve freshness. Free run juice was transferred straight to a small tank. The wine fermented dry in 14 days at 12-16 ℃ and did not undergo any secondary fermentation. It was heat and cold stabilised before being sent to bottle.
An attractive nose of lemon and lime citrus fruit that intermingles with white nectarine and hints of orange zest. Some typical cinnamon spice aromas can also be seen underneath. The palate is fresh and crisp with plenty of zingy acidity. There is a lovely fruit purity to this middle-weighted wine, that finishes with a dry and subtle nutty, spicy flavour.
2020 Row X Row Rosé
In late February handpicked Grenache from our Manjalda vineyard was driven straight from the vineyard to the winery onsite. Half of the fruit was destemmed, and half put in as whole bunches to the press where it sat, for 3 hours, to extract some colour. The juice was cold settled for 48 hours before a rough racking and yeasting. The ‘fluffy’ lees were included in the ferment to add some extra flavour and texture. Once dry, the wine was transferred from tank into 2 French puncheons, without sulphur. The lees were stirred regularly until the wine was racked out for stabilisation and bottling in early July.
Pale salmon pink in colour the nose exudes freshness and provides a mixture of orange blossom and strawberry fruit. These lovely flavours carry through onto the palate with red cherries, watermelon and raspberries at the fore. Delicate, crisp and dry with a hint of spice, the creamy texture is well balanced by the natural acidity and light, cleansing finish.
2020 Row X Row Grenache
The Grenache was made using early, handpicked fruit on the 27th of February. The grapes were fermented in two small opens fermenters. Both opens had 30% whole bunches tipped into them and the remainder of the fruit was crushed on top. One fermenter was inoculated with yeast, and the other had chilling plates put in it and cold soaked for 3 days before being warmed and inoculated. The ferments were handled gently with plunging three to four times a day and foot trodden once dry. The grapes were pressed after 21 days on skins into old French hogsheads and puncheons. The wine remained on yeast lees and was stirred until it was racked out for filtering and bottling in November.
This youthful Grenache has a very lifted, pretty nose of cherry blossom and sweet spice. These lovely flavours follow onto the palate with plenty of red fruit and savoury tannins. The sweet and tart flavours of cranberries and raspberries are nicely balanced by the cinnamon spice and subtle dried herbal character which comes from the whole bunches. The creaminess on the finish rounds off this wine perfectly. Enjoy chilled in the warmer weather!
2020 Row X Row Mataro
The Mataro was harvested from the Redwind Vineyard using a combination of hand and machine. It was destemmed, not crushed, into 0.5 tonne fermenters and split into 3 treatments – one being cold macerated for 4 days before being warmed for ferment, one having 30% whole bunches added to the bottom of the fermenter and one was fully crushed. All ferments were pressed separately after 2 weeks on skins and put to older oak for malolactic fermentation and maturation. This included one 4 year old puncheon and 3 hogsheads ranging from 2 to 5 years old. After 15 months the wine was racked out of oak, blended, and bottled with minimal filtration. No other varieties are blended into this wine, so it is a straight Mataro.
A little closed and broody to begin with, this Mataro is true to form. It does open up to showcase loads of boysenberry fruit and a complex array of forest floor, violet florals, clove and aniseed spice. The fruit is upfront and moreish with some serious tannins kicking in mid palate to draw out the finish. Fresh and bright but earthy and savoury – there is a lot to unpack in this beautifully balanced wine.
Vintage began in the third week of February, and was a drawn-out affair, finishing in April and lacking the frantic activity of the very short vintages of 2018 and 2019. Of course, the Coronavirus struck during vintage, which threw up many operational challenges.
Harvest began on 27 February with the Manjalda Grenache, which appeared to be in excellent condition. This was followed by the Redwind Mataro and Shiraz in the second week of March. The quality of all varieties is exceptional, with great colour and flavours a standout, particularly in the Shiraz. We have been very fortunate in having another vintage of fantastic quality, albeit, with very low yields.