In the Pipeline – March 2015

barrels @ SHORT SHEEP

Pre-Vintage Prep

Emptying The Barrels

In the lead up to the 2015 Vintage, all the remainder of our 2013 red wines have now been bottled, labelled, boxed and stowed away in the winery for release later this year, except for single barrels of Shiraz, Cabernet including the 2013 Black Sheep Cabernet/Shiraz blend and this year for the first time a Merlot have been reserved for further barrel aging.

Black Sheep Solera

In the last newsletter we mentioned the curious second barrel of 2012 Black Sheep that had been seen tucked away at the back of the Micro-Winery. We can now let the sheep out of the bag and tell you what we’re up to! Half of that barrel has now been bottled as an extra matured 2012 Black Sheep, however inspired by the Glenfiddich 15 year old single malt the other half has been blended with a portion of the 2013 Black Sheep blend creating a Black Sheep Solera.

Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. Solera means literally “on the ground” in Spanish.

Next year we will bottle half the Black Sheep Solera as a 2012/2013 blend and move the remainder to our newly acquired puncheon barrel and add part of the 2014 Black Sheep blend and rinse and repeat each year progressively creating a blend of every Black Sheep made! Except the 2011 which was totally unique!!

I see a red wine and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black

2014 Merlot & 2014 Syrah

During the bottling of the 2013 reds the Head Ram also had an excuse to do an update tasting of all of the 2014 reds and his attention has now focused on both the 2014 Merlot and the 2014 Syrah. These have now been in barrel for almost 10 months.

New barrels allowed the 2014 Merlot to be solely aged in 100% Hungarian oak and the 2014 Syrah in new French oak. Due to using primarily new oak these wines will be bottled early to maintain a good fruit/oak balance. With the 2013 Syrah now in short supply we’ll hope to have the 2014 Syrah available during the Mudgee Wine Festival in September.