Planted in 1999, Tokar Estate has the largest and oldest Tempranillo vines in the Yarra Valley. In an attempt to better understand our soils and the variability in our vineyard, our soil was scanned to produce a soil map. From this we discovered a small patch of soil in our Tempranillo block that was distinct from the rest of the estate. This soil covers around 20% of the Tempranillo block. In 2019, we picked and fermented this section in an Amphora to make a separately. The success of this wine led to this 2021 version.
Fruit from a specific section of our Tempranillo block was hand picked in the early morning and destemmed immediately. The berries were then gravity fed into a 1000L Amphora, made is Spain. A Spanish grape, fermented in Spanish clay, here in the Yarra Valley. The wine was made in a very hand-off manner, receiving an occasional gentle plunge during its 140 days on skins. After an awkward dig out of the amphora (only possible because the winemaker is skinny), the must was given a low pressure squeeze and the wine was returned to the amphora for elevage. Here it remained until just prior to bottling (without filtration or fining) in January.
The colour is a beautiful deep ruby with a tinge of purple, looking particularly youthful. The nose smells of glazed cherries, black tea and brick dust from the amphora. There is a purity to the palate with a sweet core of blueberry and cranberry before the more savoury ironstone finish. This wine is refreshingly unmasked from any oak influence and I love the texture of this wine. The extra long time on grape skins has knitted the tannins together to make a wine that feels mouth filling and classy. Whilst the wine is approachable now, it also has the concentration and structure for cellaring up to 20 years.
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