‘encontro' | blend of barrel fermented saison | aged on whole bunch shiraz grapes from Minim (Castlemaine, VIC) | 6.3%
Production time | 14 months
Vintage | 2022
Blend | 1
This is a collaboration with our good friend Tim from Minim Wines.
About 10 kilometers from the inland city of Manaus in northern Brazil, the Rio Negro river, which flows through the city, meets the sandy colored Amazon River, but the water doesn’t mix immediately. Instead, they flow side by side for 6 km, an occurrence known as ‘the Meeting of the Waters’ or Encontro das Águas in Portuguese.
In our case we took this meaning as a meeting of two minds and a chance to really create something we were both proud of, from different fields, with equal input.
This beer started back in March 2022 where Hannah & I drove down to the vineyard in Metcalfe, VIC and loaded 100kg (300g/L) of whole bunch Shiraz into our VC.
The Coliban Valley vineyard was planted in 1998 by Greg and Helen Miles in sandy granitic soils at the eastern margin of the Harcourt Granodiorite - a mass of volcanic rock that shapes much of the lands between Metcalfe and Harcourt, outcropping and looming over Castlemaine as Leanganook.
The Shiraz planting here is dry grown and farmed by Minim regeneratively since 2019. Natural acid is always high at this site, and yields, despite the lack of irrigation are always generous. Plush fruit, powerful tannins and loads of natural acid.
The tank was flooded with C02 upon returning to the brewery to initiate carbonic maceration for two weeks.
This blend contained two components: - 50% saison fermented in a puncheon (3 months old) - 50% saison matured in a hogshead (14 months old)
This was racked on top of the grapes and left to macerate for 4 months.
On blending day we pressed the residual grapes and added in a small portion of pressings for texture.
Packaged on August 22nd 2022 and bottle conditioned for 7 months.
Aromas of blackberry, strawberries & tomato leaf. Lot's of primary fruit character up front intertwined with a lovely leathery funk.
The palate lends to black currants, plum & montmorency sour cherries. Grippy, weighty & tannic while still maintaining a vibrancy that is inviting.
This is definitely the most textural product we have ever produced and it really does blur the line between wine & beer.
Feels quite fitting to release this beer this week, just before the first pick of 2023 in Metcalfe.