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Quality cool climate wine from the Orange wine growing region in New South Wales, Australia

2016 Silk Purse (12 bottle case)

Cellar Door

Sensational quality wine from the Orange, NSW wine growing region.

2016 Silk Purse (12 bottle case)

2016 Silk Purse.png
2016 Silk Purse.png

2016 Silk Purse (12 bottle case)

384.00

Bright green gold in colour, this gentle sweetie shows lime and ripe citrus aromas supporting a silky mouth-feel which finishes with a refreshingly juicy citrus acidity. Typical tangy native honey influences across the palate of this super late picked, lightly botrytised, late harvest Bloodwood Riesling provide excellent current enjoyment. However, some patience will add to your enjoyment of this wine.

11.3% alc/Vol (375ml bottle)

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Vineyard

The grapes for the 2016 Silk Purse are sourced from the lower 8 rows of the Riesling vineyard. This vineyard faces due north on an 18 degree slope with the rows approximately South East North West in orientation on a Scott-Henry trellis system. The trellis is opened towards the top of the slope in a southerly direction protecting the fruit from excessive mid-season sunlight. The laminated siltstones and shales of the slope allow for very reliable drainage in wetter growing seasons and a generally warmer start to each growing season. This is a very important quality vineyard for us at Bloodwood.

Vintage Conditions

I’m writing this on the 9th March 2016 and we’ve just hand-picked the last of this year’s fruit from the lower Shiraz vineyard. (The only grapes still out are those we hope to make in to another Silk Purse if the weather holds). Unlike most vineyards in Australia, our Shiraz is always later to mature than our Cabernet Sauvignon. It usually ripens four or five days after the Cabernet vineyard and traditionally it has been gathered around the end of the first week in April. Now, every wine maker understands that vintage dates jump around a little according to the season, however, until this year, the earliest we have ever completed harvest was 20th March. That record was set in last year’s vintage. The 20th March is an important date in the viticultural scheme of things for Bloodwood. For the first couple of decades it was generally around the date we commenced harvest. Rhonda always seemed to be unimpressed that her birthday celebrations were regularly subsumed under a sticky morass of Chardonnay must and hard physical work. Recently, this seems no longer to be the case. There’s still plenty of work to do in the winery putting the vintage to bed. However, the madness of vintage for an outfit which still persists with hand picking and slow wine making can be eased through a shared bottle of Bloodwood Schubert. So what does this year’s wine look like at this juncture? In short, it looks pretty good. The concern with this very warm and dry early vintage was that the fruit would respire its essence and blow out in alcohol levels before we could get round to hand harvesting it. Luckily, with the aid of the excellent Team Bloodwood, (and a few additional picking bins used as open fermenters when the pressure was really on), we seemed to manage well enough through the totally dry conditions of February and March. For the first time at Bloodwood we had to give the winery heat exchanger a real workout to help cool warm ferment temperatures and this has helped mightily in retaining the freshness natural acid balance of our fruit. Traditionally, the issue here has been warming ferments to completion as autumnal temperatures plummet, but not this year. Time will tell, but early indications suggest that 2016 will do no harm to the reputation of Bloodwood wines with the Schubert, Riesling, Pinot and Shiraz performing very well.


Winemaking

The main consideration here was a clean, efficient ferment minimizing volatile acidity and extended ferment characters. At 36 Brix or more, the lightly botrytised grapes were hand-picked, hand-sorted and whole-bunch pressed to a small enclosed fermentation vessel and allowed to cold settle under C02 and around 20ppm S02. Following several rackings to help clarify the juice (and to recover as much of the sticky stuff as we could) it was warmed to 18C and inoculated with an very actively growing Champagne yeast, along with selected organic nutrients and a good dollop of hope. Fermentation was slow and steady at first, but encouraged with regular applications of warmth through reverse engineering of the cooling jacket until we judged the alcohol level to be around the 11% mark. Following bench trials, protein and cold stabilization, the wine was sterile filtered and bottled in September 2016.

Wine Analysis


pH 3.00
Acidity 6.5 g/l
Alc/Vol 11.3%

Tasting Notes

Bright green gold in colour, this gentle sweetie shows lime and ripe citrus aromas supporting a silky mouth-feel which finishes with a refreshingly juicy citrus acidity. Typical tangy native honey influences across the palate of this super late picked, lightly botrytised, late harvest Bloodwood Riesling provide excellent current enjoyment. However, some patience will add to your enjoyment of this wine.  

11.3% alc/Vol (375ml bottle)

 

The Silk Purse (aka Ice Riesling and Noble Riesling) is an occasional serendipitous miracle of Bloodwood. Over the years it has attracted praise from international wine writers and consistent general support from home. We’ll leave you to be the judge.
Stephen and Rhonda Doyle have been making wine in Orange since 1983, their vineyards planted at an elevation of 810 to 860 metres – very continental, and visited by snow and frost most winters. This wine is very long and intense, with pure Riesling fruit augmented (not subverted) by some botrytis; it has perfectly counterpoised sweetness and acidity. Screwcap; 10.5% alc/vol; to 2013 94 points
— Mr Halliday's Review of 2008 Silk Purse
Stephen and Rhonda Doyle are doyens of the Orange region, having set up shop in 1983. They produce excellent chardonnay and shiraz, but it is with Riesling, both dry and late harvest, that they have starred, as this late harvest wine shows. Pale straw-green; a truly delicious wine; juicy lime flavours intensified by a touch of botrytis, but without warping varietal character; the balance is immaculate, the sweetness balanced by acidity. Screwcap; 10.5% alc/vol.

Rating 95 points
— Mr Halliday's Review of 2009 Silk Purse
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