Original Post: 9th of June, 2014
With a long dry summer with some extreme variations in temperatures including hot northerly winds (39°C to 42°C some days), then some cold weather to mix things up; vintage 2014 was definitely an interesting one. The variations in weather played havoc with the fruit set and véraison (see link for growth cycle of grapevines) of the vines as we saw some unevenness in berry size (we noted 'Hen & Chicks' growth where large and small clusters exist within the clusters) which were due to the fluctuations in temperatures. However, the temperature has made for a vintage that is certainly unique that was shaped by the struggles of the vines to ripen the fruit.
Despite some necessary fruit acid adjustments (Tartaric acid), the Marsanne is an exciting addition to Flyfaire's family of vintages for 2014 with the winemaker describing it as literally 'sensational'. We are all very excited to try this variety in the coming years. (Note: for those wondering about the variety Marsanne, it often features deep colours that are rich and nutty, with hints of spice and pear and can often feature apricot, melon, and golden honeysuckle aromas).
As well as the new addition of Marsanne to the family, our Rieslings continue to shine, with the winemaker potentially planning four product lines including a traditional standard release, a botrytis Riesling (a type of rot used on the grapes to intensify sweetness and add more flavours such as honey), a semi-sweet Riesling, and finally a sweet Riesling. It will be fabulous to have so many different product lines to offer Flyfaire's customers which will meet a greater range of palates.
The winemaker is also considering a fortified product through the use of the pressings to gain a fortified wine with an alcohol content of 12.5%. He hopes to gain a quite complex and sticky wine which is promising to be very flavoursome.
This year's Merlot has gone through malolactic fermentation (malolactic fermentation is a process in winemaking in which tart-tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid) with the wine continuing to develop intense flavours and is promising to be a great vintage for the purist Merlot wine boffins.
Lastly, the Don Pepé block (our Carménère variety) has completed its first season with us and is already showing the signs of great potential for our terroir. We have already seen several late bunches that display the colour (rich purple) and flavour potential of this wonderful Chilean signature wine. We hope that pruning and training the vines will commence after the onset of the winter. Our new trellis system used for the Carménère is transforming the vines into a foliage trellis type system and will be very exciting for us as we develop this variety.
Our overall production for 2014 was around 2,600 litres prior to racking.
Many clientele have requested sweeter wines (e.g.: such as Muscato) and so we will introduce some innovative new lines that will hopefully satisfy our customers.
Furthermore, the desire for oaked flavours are burgeoning, and so, as a result, our bottle oaked experiment will continue (as seen in our Chardonnay and Riesling lines). Lastly, as our 2014 vintage is imminent, the produce has again proven its ability to have intense and crisp varietal flavours, a signature of Flyfaire's vintages. Regards to all, Les, Winemaker at Flyfaire.