- 67% Viognier 33% Marsanne
- 13.3% Alc.
- Production: 1950 bottles
This wine is inspired by the white wines of the Rhone Valley in France. Originating in Switzerland, the Rhone river flows west towards Lyon before turning south down the Rhone Valley to the Mediterranean coast. The strong, cool Mistral wind blows down the Rhone Valley from the Alps and has a profound impact upon all of the agriculture in the valley, viticulture being no exception. This is the inspiration for the name of the wine.
Perhaps the most famous of the Rhone white varieties is Viognier (pron. Vio- n-yay). The bronze tinted, thick skinned, hardy white grapes typically produce a medium weight, dry wine with characteristic bright floral and apricot notes. This is often blended with either or both of Marsanne and Roussane, to produce a vibrant, complex, floral wine, capable of being enjoyed in its youth as well as to be cellared and enjoyed with several years of bottle evolution.
The Viognier for the 2016 Mistral was sourced from two separate vineyards. The first is located in the Walcliffe sub-region of Margaret River, with a northerly exposure and around 4km from the Indian Ocean on the banks of the Margaret River itself. Sitting high on this hillside, the vines grow in gravelly, well drained soil and experience fantastic exposure to the warm summer sunshine and regular, cooling sea breezes.
The other portion of Viognier as well as the Marsanne portion of the blend are grown at one of the most southerly vineyards in the Margaret River region located in the Karridale sub-region, some 4.5km West of the Indian Ocean and 6km North of the Southern Ocean.
The 2015/16 growing season commenced favourably with warm conditions and what felt like an early hot start to Summer. In January we experienced cooler conditions than normal as well as several rain events which lead to widespread outbreaks of mildew and botrytis in the district. We work hard to access the best of the best fruit from the choicest of vineyards and make a
very thorough field selection upon hand picking in order to avoid any diseased fruit arriving at the winery.
After the cooler January, February and March were classically warm (not hot) and dry, and lead to some stunning fruit ripening conditions which we are confident will translate into some amazing wines.
All of the grapes for this wine were handpicked into small 8kg crates and immediately transported back to the winery where the whole bunches of grapes were placed gently into a traditional wooden basket press to extract the juice. Whole-bunch basket pressing is the most gentle way to extract the juice from the fruit and is a process common to the world’s highest quality white wines.
From the press the juice was placed directly into 3 year old French oak barriques for fermentation. The wine was fermented utilising the indigenous yeast which came in on the grape bunches from the vineyard. After completing fermentation a small addition of sulphur was added to protect against oxidation and the wine was left to rest in the cellar for 8 months, all the while in contact with the yeast lees left over from fermentation.
Two weeks before bottling, the wine was gently removed from barrel not via the workings of a pump, but rather using gravity. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, with our aim being to showcase the amazing fruit which went into making it in the purest way possible.
The wine displays a lifted nose packed full of apricot blossom, white flowers, sweet tropical fruit hints with a savoury, almondy undertone. On the palate the wine is bone dry, showing wonderfully light, crisp and fresh acidity, just- ripe apricot, sweet stone fruit and white floral notes, with surprising texture and complexity especially when allowed to warm up a few degrees past fridge temperature. The flavours of this wine persist on the palate and the finish is crisp, floral and dry.