Vineyard ~ Eurangie Park, King Valley
Sourced from uppermost vineyard in the King Valley, the Eurangie Park Vineyard is approximately 6km further up the valley past the village of Cheshunt and is run by one of the best in the game, Richard Carson. Paul has had a relationship with Richard dating back some 20+ years. When we visited to have a look at the Sauvignon Blanc Richard was very keen for us to have a look at his Dolcetto. The fruit looked great, the Dolcetto comes from a section of the Vineyard steep on the wall of the Valley, it was settled, Dolcetto would be our experimental red for 2018. On the drive home it dawned on us we knew nothing about the variety, after some research we found it to be bright fruited, low tannin variety. Plenty of scope to have some fun!
Picked in the early morning at 11.7 baume before being destemmed but not crushed as to retain whole berries. To really get funky we put a layer of fresh pressed Sangiovese skins on the bottom of the fermenter before filling it up with the Dolcetto whole berries. Mainly because we could but also to give it a lick of tannin. A huge 40% of the free run juice was run off to ensure the wine had intensity of flavour and colour, we had learned to Australian Dolcetto has often in the past lacked backbone. The grapes were protected under CO2 prior to the natural wild yeast fermentation commencing 48 hours later. The ferment was allowed to rise to 30c then held, 3 weeks on skins before gentle basket pressing to seasoned French Oak Puncheons and Barriques between 4-6 years old. Oak of this age will impart very little, if any oak characteristics, instead we believe they are the best vessel for wines to age in. Oak is a natural living product that allows the wines breath and evolve with time, something not possible with stainless steel tanks.
The Dolcetto then spent 12 months in oak on full lees (lees are the solids that drop and of the wine post fermentation) to build texture. The wine was then lightly filtered and bottled, before been given at least 3 months post bottling to settle. This was a complete surprise packet, a super perfumed wine with plenty of attractive fleshy bright red fruit and silky tannins.