Rallentando Riesling 2017
Rallentando 2017 has a shy floral nose as befits the tightly corseted creature she is: changing metaphors, our dry Riesling always has rapier-like acidity accentuated in 2017 by a pretty measly summer. To balance this up Lisa has left a slightly higher 6g/l of residual sugar – after all, austerity can be pushed too far even by the monkish standards of St Francis.
An already lovely full texture suggests that some bottle age will produce a softer food companion for those who have patience.
Although undoubtedly fake news, it was reported that an in extremis Kevin Spacey blamed a bottle of Rallentando for sweeping a youth off his feet a few years ago and carrying him across the wedding threshold. However, it doesn’t explain his behaviour of lying all over the lad.
Ragtime Riesling 2015
Early season was coolish, a bit of rain and windy (a euphemism for some howling gales of 120k). Typical in Martinborough over flowering – not ideal, but reducing yields which conventionally produces lower yields/better flavour concentration. Followed by nice hot conditions up to vintage on 17 April. The final result with around 20% Botrytis, 15g/l sugar, is the usual citric attack leavened by, maybe, peach and melon. And yes, the honeysuckle. A very approachable wine now, with ageing potential to 2020. Best with chicken and seafood or on its own.
Ragtime shows no fear or favour to the downtrodden or elevated socialites alike, so beware of its ubiquitous charms.
A recent example of the mighy fallen is George W Bush who joined the lengthening retinue of octogenarian rampants. A mightily surprised 34-year old actress complained that George, now a 93 year old pubescent, managed from his wheelchair to impart a dirty joke and then grab her butt. His loyal wife Barbara rolled her eyes at the clumsiness and said it was down to the bottle of Ragtime he’d consumed in the car.
The Ritz 2017 – A Spritzy Riesling
On a hot day our Ritz is supposed to conjure up notions like sassy and foxy – by definition female attributes and certainly the demographic that instinctively loves this wine. It’s partly the 30g/l of sweetness but also the light hit of carbon dioxide fizzing gently underneath those racy citrus flavours.
Occasionally we see a sturdy farmer wandering around with a glass of Ritz clutched in his hoary mitt, but invariably looking a bit shifty at drinking something so tasty.
Unlike our other Rieslings which are designed to age, this one should be drunk early.
The Ritz is ideal for weddings as an aperitif – with chicken and seafood nibbles.
The White House PR minders are constantly confounded by what Donald dreams up overnight and unleashes first thing after waking. Was he sleeping uneasily and were his dreams phychotic? What was the origin of these intemperate outbursts? Although apocryphal, we heard that in addition to a bundle of old Playboy magazines found under his bed, there was a stash of empty Ritz bottles.
Piccolo Pinot Gris 2017
Weather is obviously a large part of the equation. My cryptic notes indicate that the 2 consecutive days we got in late February 2017 of 25 degrees largely made up our 2017 summer. Hence the delayed vintage on 25 April. The fruit was nice and clean with a small quantity of botrytis. Average brix level came in at an admirable 22.8. Our “small is beautiful” motto was adhered to – a small crop averaging 1.7 tonnes/acre.
The wine itself was fermented in stainless over a period of 10 days at an average temperature of 19 degrees.
Piccolo is dry with a perfumed floral nose and notes of white peach, mango and musk. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety. An ideal wine for spicy food and risqué repartee.
Piccolo can be sharply separated from what guru Jancis Robinson describes as “the sea of reasonably undistinguished Italian Pinot Grigios” and is much closer to the Alsace version of the variety (which is a mutation of Pinot Noir).
The most unusual application of our Piccolo was reported last Valentines Day – an enthusiastic punter took a bottle to the Wellington Zoo that night and sipped it to the mellifluous sound of the animals mating!
Foxy Lady – a Syrah Rosé
Mother Nature was pretty uncooperative for vintage 2017 – a stingy amount of sun and some rain at the tail end. This meant in early May, when we’re normally thinking about picking our Syrah it became plain that the fruit wasn’t quite ripe and needed another 2 weeks of steady sun. It wasn’t going to happen. Even after, as usual, we’d fruit thinned drastically to one bunch per shoot.
So, an executive decision was called for. Best option was for a Rosé. We’d never used Syrah before so that would be interesting. And it is.
We could have blended it with our Pinot based Ramblin’ Rosé but thought we’d give you punters the chance to try both side by side.
With 22g/l residual sugar it’s noticeably sweeter than Ramblin’ but still very lively with a delicious tart berry fruit character, (cranberry?).
The back label contains a slip from the poet laureate – Is it Mick or Jimi? Its spirit is accurate though – designed for frivolity and possible dalliance.
Pizzicato Pinot Noir 2017
The 2017 vintage was characterised by a cool start, patchy weather and what passed for summer starting in late February – i.e. an awkward year in the vineyard.
Despite these conditions our fruit came in clean and we picked between 5-10 April. Average brix a little lighter than usual at 22.7. The wine is savoury (10/5 clone) and delicious with a lighter texture than the 2016 – a delicate little number reminding you that unlike cabernet, which is bigger, Pinot Noir is complex and gentle simultaneously.
As someone said, “ it expresses the vineyard perfectly.” The greatest compliment is “Its typical – very Pinot.” Try it with pork, mushrooms and densely textured fish like salmon, tuna, groper etc. Cellared properly Pizzicato ‘17 will travel gracefully to 2022.
Not understanding Pinot any better than economics PresidentTrump was caught recently sprinkling burgundy on a raspberry cupcake. This is not recommended.
Que Sera Syrah 2014
My sparse notes indicate a cool period over flowering followed by a windy patch and then a nice Autumn. Skill and luck led to a hasty pick on 15 April at 20 brix – 50mls of rain started next day!
To ensure full ripeness of our Syrah, over half the grapes are dropped unceremoniously to the ground soon after fruit set. The result of this austerity is a low 1.4 tonne/acre yield, financially suicidal, but favouring the imbiber.
Compared to the average Aussie shiraz, local syrahs are typically lighter in texture and more subtle in flavour – a distinction not always detected by our antipodean neighbours whose palates have come to prefer the bolder expression that comes from 40oC temperatures. Each to his own.
People mostly hone in on the peppery/spicy character of Que Sera to which our panel added dark fruits, eg raspberry and toasty oak. Goes with most red meats especially venison. Duck is good.