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Quealy Winemakers Newsletter August 2020

Premiere of single site Pinot Noir

Introducing the KKO1 Pinot Noir 2019, wine made off the younger – 1996 not so baby – Pinot Noir vines that line the driveway and adjoin the Seventeen Rows old vines block at our winery vineyard. Whole berry fermentation, and a maceration time of 17 days, provides aromatic and palate lift, but that juicy palate is underscored by a lingering savoury finish that confirms this is no lightweight. KKO1 may be a party guy but still up for an informed discussion of string theory or the relative benefits of mindfulness and meditation. Organic viticulture poses its challenges, the positives are undeniable. Initially it was about looking after our local and around farm biology. Unsurprisingly we have found the soil sweeter, more able to provide nutrition and water to the vine because organic mass is increased when nurtured. Our vines a more resilient and invasive species more balanced. Our own vineyard is certified organic whilst the Tussie Mussie Vineyard and Hester are operated uncertified organically. Campbell and Christine isn’t far behind. Musk Creek Vineyard is more difficult, with a colder, longer, wetter season and we will simple achieve what we can in a sustainable management system.

Vintage 2019

Word is out the Peninsula had a cracker 2019 vintage. Fast paced, plenty of sunshine, low disease pressure, generous yields make for delicious wine. Vineyards respond to a generous crop by focusing vine metabolism on fruit instead of shoots.

Pobblebonk, Pinot Grigio, Friulano

All 2019’s all now certified organic. The Pobblebonk and Pinot Grigio experience spice and sweet oxygenation with barrel fermentation before assembling in tank to finish and clarify. Pobblebonk is a complimentary field blend of generous Pinot Grigio, golden candied Friulano enlivened with a 15% aromatic old vine Riesling and 8% serious old vine Chardonnay. Great acid and complexity, and now with 12 months in bottle ready to drink. Quealy Pinot Grigio is always my favourite; 2019 vintage is entirely from our winery vineyard site. Our cool maritime region, with rainfall rather than any irrigation creates a wine that is subtle, sophisticated, bearing its own refreshing natural acid and echoes the ocean air surrounding our region. I had a glass of our Friulano last night to help with the notes; thick, creamy and on the wild side. Perfect to drink watching our festival of footy on TV. Certainly a close manifestation of the wines of Friuli but still firmly Mornington Peninsula.

 

 

They needed some time

Lina Lool is a field blend like Pobblebonk, however with the more exotic aromatic grape varieties that we grow here; Moscato Giallo and Malvasia Istriana. We gentle de-stem immediately into amphora for fermentation and maceration without sulphur for six months. Now the head spaces of the amphorae smell of cumin, coriander and honey. We then bucket the free run into barrel to mature an additional six months before bottling. Lina Lool has matured to perfection in bottle and is now showing what it’s capable of.  

“Friulano, moscato giallo and riesling get six months skin fermentation here, What a thing! This is fantastic orange wine. Surround sound in floral, sweet citrus, green herb, saline characters, something akin to farmhouse cider, palate and bouquet matching neatly with this. Slurpee texture tempered with thick ribbons of tannin, gently sweet-sour fruit pleasingly bitter to close. Fantastic, compelling expression.”– Wine Front, Mike Bennie 94pts

2018 vintage, Quealy Seventeen Rowsis now avalibe on our online store. Wide spaced, own rooted, 1982 MV6 Mornington Peninsula heritage Pinot Noir. Ideal ripening conditions in 2018 are magnified in these older vines. Deep brooding wine emerges from long maceration and a further twelve months in 300L hogs head barrels, 1/3 new. The drinking window for this is just beginning to open up, looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Vintage 2020

Yields way down – way down, as classically pessimistic farmers we became convinced it would coincide with a disastrous final weeks of ripening as conditions threatened to deteriorate. They didn’t. Healthy bunches of small berries delivered to the winery. High malic acids testament to the cool conditions. 2020 is showing signs of being a vintage of precision, natural acids are high and flavours cover the full spectrum.

Skin Contact

Quealy’s vintage 2020 skin contact wines – Turbul & Lina Lool currently in amphora destined to be decanted into barrel in final weeks of winter. Clarity is important to the finish of a wine, and decanting / racking wine off skins / lees / solids remains the important natural process of clarification particularly on the brink of spring when wines stir. Further time as wine in barrel – in our case usually 6 to 12 months – softens white tannin, creating depth and concentration in the palate.