Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Vineyard 2006 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Vineyard 2006 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc


Wine Facts

Harvested: 31/3/2006
Bottled: 26/6/2006
Released: 19/10/2006
Baume: 11.40
Alcohol: 13.00%
Vintage Rating: 10/10


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Tasting Notes

The wine continues the typical Moss Wood style for this blend. It has a light straw colour and is in bright condition. The nose is fresh and lifted, showing vibrant leafy and gooseberry fruit notes which stand up in the glass. The riper fig-like notes of the Semillon are also present. The palate combines fresh lemon, leaf and gooseberry fruit flavours with crisp acidity, medium body, good length and a clean finish.


Vintage Notes

Our high expectations for wine quality extended to the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend from Ribbon Vale. For a wine that relies on lifted and zesty fruit notes as this one does, the 2006 season was close to perfect, although the rain threatened to take the shine off things. The main concern is that rain will dilute the flavours, rather than the threat of disease, although this can be a problem too. Frequent sampling is crucial so the harvest can be timed to catch the lifted fruit characters we are looking. These are generally available at around 11.5 Baume and not much more. With the 2006 we kept one eye on the weather forecast and one on the sample results and when rain threatened the Sauvignon Blanc was picked. The result was very pleasing ripeness of 11.4 Baume and we beat a “moderate rain event”. If the Sauvignon Blanc provides the aromatics, the Semillon component of the blend provides the flavour. Ribbon Vale Semillon produces a different style to that grown at the Moss Wood vineyard, even though they are separated by only about 1.5 kilometres. The south westerly aspect means that it is cooler and slower to ripen and needs careful attention, including bunch thinning, to make sure it is not over-cropped. Excess crop would mean poor ripeness and thin, uninteresting wine from a variety that we need to give the wine mouth feel, length and complexity. To illustrate the difference between the two vineyards, Moss Wood was picked at 12.6 Baume on April 1st, while Ribbon Vale was picked nearly two weeks later at 12.8 Baume on April 13th. This was good ripeness, especially in the context of the year, and fruit flavours were excellent.


Production Notes

Both components were made with a similar technique to Moss Wood Semillon. The fruit was whole-bunch pressed then the juice was cold settled for 48 hours. The Sauvignon Blanc does not require enzyme and after racking from the settling lees, no solids were added. The Semillon was settled with enzyme and then racked to the fermenter with 2% solids. Both were fermented at 18C but the lees stirring regimes were different. The Sauvignon Blanc was stirred only once per week and then not at all after fermentation. The Semillon was stirred daily and then once per week after fermentation. We use the different techniques because we want to preserve primary fruit freshness in the Sauvignon Blanc but look for a rich and complex palate from the Semillon. After the Semillon has finished lees contact the two components are blended, fined with bentonite for protein stability, cold stabilised and then sterile filtered for bottling, which was done on 27th June. The resulting wine continues the typical Moss Wood style for this blend.



Cellaring Notes

The wine’s chemistry and Semillon component mean that it will cellar successfully but not surprisingly, this style is an attractive drinking prospect right now and can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or with more delicately flavoured foods.