Attollo Touriga Nacional 2015
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.
The 2015 growing season started out well with a couple of early storms disrupting flowering a little and making for some uneven fruitset. Attention was required throughout the growing season with shoot thinning and green fruit removal to even up the crop. The remainder of the season was a fantastic growing season with warm to hot conditions and minimal rain. Bird pressure became extreme as blossom was limited and big fires in Esperance and Northcliffe drove birds to the South West. Bird nets stood the test and some hang time was required to even flavours in reds.
This Touriga is unirrigated and shows beautiful balance, grown using a VSP trellis and cane pruning on that amazing red and dark broan loam sandstone granite terroir. The Touriga was hand picked on the 21st of March 2015, looking quite ripe on the edge- sometimes where Touriga has to be to be just perfect.
0.6t of Donny Brook Touriga Nacional was chilled for 48 hrs before 17% whole bunches were hand loaded into a 1t open fermenter 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 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 barrel and left on lees for malolactic ferment (inoculated with a complex strain to provide sweetness and texture and also prevent histamine formation) which slowly ticked through over 2 months. The wine was then sulphured with and left on lees for an additional 5 months with the occasional stir. After this time the wine was racked once off lees and left in old French oak barriques for an additional 10 months. The wine was then transferred by gravity to stainless steel drums for stabilisation for 2 months before bottling in October 2015 with no fining or filtration. As this wine has been minimally handled in the finishing process, a natural sediment may remain.
Titrateable Acidity [TA] 5.60g/L
Residual Sugar [RS] 0.12g/L
Volatile Acidity [VA] 0.3g/l
Cases Bottled October 2016
95 6 pack screw cap
Best 2017-22, Maximum 2027
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 barriques 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.