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. But a heat spike in January 2010 with a week of 35 degree plus (unheard of in Margaret River). 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
The family has been involved with zinfandel since the variety was first introduced to the region in 1972. The mother vines were imported from California, originating from a vineyard in Lodi. Judging perfect ripeness is the only difficult winemaking decision due to the uneven ripening of bunches a habit which is peculiar to this variety. From the point of harvest, winemaking is simple. The grapes are fermented in small
open-top vats and plunged for colour, flavour and tannin extraction. Towards completion of the primary fermentation the skins are pressed and the wine is run to barrel for finishing and maturation. The wine is bottled in late summer prior to the next vintage.
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.
This is a blend of three family vineyards. Tempranillo fruit comes from McLeod Creek, Graciano from Burnside and the remainder from our Rocky Road Vineyard.
A fruit box of lifted aromas jumps from the glass at first sniff and is followed by blackberries, raisins and a handful of cranberries tempered with more savoury hints of black olives and anise. This is a flirty fruit-driven wine possessing perky purple fruits framed by fine grained tannins, finishing with great line and length.