The result is a wine with cherry, earth, fennel, dried herb, and rose perfume. The palate is fresh and lively, with concentrated ripe cherry, raspberry, earth and red liquorice flavours enhanced by a saline minerality and full, fine tannins.
100% single vineyard located 4km north of Lake Alexandrina. In 1999, 2.0 hectares were planted at 4000 vines/Ha to two high quality clones of nebbiolo on various rootstocks. The lowest performing plantings were replaced in 2005 by 8 Matura nebbiolo clones. The site possesses low vigour, deep calcareous soils with a mix of clay, sand, marl and limestone gravel. The low annual rainfall of 250mm is supplemented by the judicious use of fresh water irrigation from Lake Alexandrina. The close proximity to the lake and sea provides strong cooling winds, often arriving just after midday during the summer months. Autumns are usually sunny, cool, dry and calm, resulting in long ripening periods. The mean average growing season temp of 17.2C is comparable to Margaret River and Napa Valley. Grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides. Hand pruned and hand harvested.
Following slightly drier than average conditions during winter, the unusually cold spring resulted in late flowering under ideal conditions. Above average spring and summer rainfall and below average growing season temperatures resulted in an extended ripening and a very late harvest. The small yields and favourable, extended ripening conditions though resulted in extraordinary quality fruit.
The Ragazzi Nebbiolo cuvee is chosen from those that are charming and accessible in their youth (i.e. with more open aromatics and lower tannins) These parcels are given slightly shorter macerations (approx. 2 to 3 weeks) and shorter maturation (10 months) in a greater proportion of smaller format barrels (80% barriques)
21 individual plantings (10 clones on various rootstocks/vine age) are harvested into 8kg crates, destemmed, foot crushed and fermented separately by wild yeast in small open top fermenters, hand plunged, and macerated for an average of 3 weeks. It is then pressed directly into old French barriques where natural mlf takes place. The wine is then sulphured and left on its lees until the end of maturation when it is racked by gravity. No additives are used in its production except minimal sulphur dioxide.
10 months in seasoned French oak barriques. Unfined and unfiltered.