But a heat spike in January 2010 with a week of 35 degree plus (unheard of in Margaret River) bought whites in to line very quickly and within an instant they were coming off somewhat earlier than average. Reds drew out as things cooled off quickly heading into March. Patience to get tannin ripeness in reds proved dividends though an early break to the season with rainfall had us on the edge of the seat
Grapes are fermented in small open vats allowing precise judgements as fermentation proceeds, and colour, flavour and tannins are extracted from the skins. Towards the completion of primary fermentation, the skins are pressed and the wine run to barrel for finishing and maturation. The blend is assembled in late summer, prior to bottling ahead of the next vintage.
With El Nino has come a progressively reduced rainfall over the last four years. Spring has been a little wetter and summer has had more temperature extremes. In 2009 spring was once again wet and blustery and looking on track to be something like 2008
All vines on the McHenry Hohnen vineyards are grown on a single bilateral cordon with a vertically trained canopy. It is a simple and practical format that maximises light penetration and maintains a balanced vine. The Red Amigos are sourced from the Rocky Road Vineyard in the southern part of the Margaret River region which has a strong influence from the Southern Ocean. The vines have their roots in gravel loams derived from granite. These free draining moderately fertile soils facilitate growth without excessive vigour and allow perfect ripening. Vines are grown on a single bilateral cordon with a vertically trained canopy – a simple and practical format that maximises light penetration and maintains a balanced vine.
A rustic blend of raspberry confection and red strap liquorice over complex earthy notes of dark chocolate, terra cotta and fragrant black pepper. A medium body reveals juicy redskin fruits and Jaffa framed by liquorice and ground sweet spices. Velvety tannins and sweet blood orange acidity converge for a long and smooth finish.
Plenty of dark earthy fruit in here. It's the classic Rhone blend which is not often used in WA. Syrupy plum and chocolate characters on the palate which is so dense. Warm and multi-layered with firm tannins cutting a neat balance through to the finish.