Attollo Touriga Nacional 2017

 

Attollo Touriga Nacional is made from a special vineyard in the rolling Donnybrook hills.  The soils are a distinctive red and brown loam with interspersed granite and sandstone over mottled clay, which combined with a lovely nor west slope, provides a beautiful terroir for Touriga to shine.  Touriga origins stretch to the Duoro Valley in Portugal—which is an ancient valley with terraced vineyards scattered up it’s slope.   Touriga Nacional historically provided the base to the very powerful and highly acclaimed Duoro Ports- however more recently a new breed of young Portuguese Winemakers have started producing distinctive rustic table wines from this grape, usually as the predominant variety with Touriga Franca, Tinto Cao, and Tinta Roriz.  To produce a pure 100% Touriga Nacional requires a certain site with specific character as this one has in the Donnybrook hills.

 

2017

The 2017 growing season was a very cool season, with mild even ripening and a very lucky warm dry finish.  Cyclonic rains in January gave an unseasonal drink to the vines, which resulted in great freshness and higher than average yields.  Thankfully, the growing season extended with the driest April on record, with moderate perfect ripening temperatures.  2017 started out cool and ended up being mild and long, with fresh moderately flavoured reds with fine savoury tannin.  Bird pressure was insignificant as well- which was a first.

 

1.6t of Donny Brook Touriga Nacional was hand picked on the 20th April 217 on a Biodynamique Fruit Day.  The fruit was chilled for 48 hrs before 17% whole bunches were hand loaded into 3x1t open fermenters and the remaining grapes were gently destemmed on top.  The touriga was then left in the coolroom at 5oC for 3 day cold soak to draw sweetness and midpalate from the grapes.  The wine was then allowed to warm and inoculated with a Portuguese yeast stain at a very low rate and the ferment was plunged twice daily for the duration of ferment and pressed after a 10 day ferment at close to dryness when extraction was deemed sufficient.  The 17% whole bunches were stomped (pigeage) through the ferment to slowly release fresh fermenting juice to prolong the ferment.  These cherry bombs provide a wonderful raspberry cherry lolly note from the process of carbonic maceration (the berry ferments naturally inside the berry while attached to the stalk – usually generating about 1% alcohol or so). These cherry bombs are a treasure to be savoured at the bottom of the fermenter in the dig out.    The wine was then basket pressed by hand to 500L puncheons and left on lees for malolactic ferment which slowly ticked through over 2 months.  The wine was then sulphured with a small addition and matured on lees for a total of 18 months with a monthly stir.  The wine was then transferred by gravity to stainless steel drums for stabilisation for 2 months before bottling in November 2017 with no fining or filtration.  As this wine has been minimally handled in the finishing process, a natural sediment may remain. 

 

pH 3.67

Titrateable Acidity [TA] 5.10g/L

Residual Sugar [RS] 0.36g/L

Volatile Acidity [VA] 0.57g/l

Alcohol 14.6%

 

Cases Bottled November 2017

1100L

244 6 pack screw cap

 

Cellaring Best

 Best 2017-22, Maximum 2027

 

Taste [20/11/18]

The wine has a typical deep pink red centre and a pink purple rim.  Touriga usually has a wonderful deep colour.  Cherry, chocolate and fragrant herb characters fill the nose and provide a distinctive aromatic wine unique to this Donnybrook vineyard terroir.  The wine has a powerful but moderated weight, with a beautiful line of flavour, distinctive natural acidity and fine graphite like tannins affording a dry finish.  A small amount of whole bunches included in the ferment have given this wine an element of complexity without overbearing the fruit and natural terroir expressed in the wine.  It should be noted that only old French oak Puncheons were used to mature this wine so oak provides softening with minimal flavour impact.  This wine will continue to blossom over the next few years.