V I N T A G E
A dry season from the get-go. Winter rain was a bit below average and spring rain was virtually non-existent. Some warmth through to Christmas and into the new year. The saving grace for the vintage came in late January with falls totalling 40mm over a 12 day period, leading into the start of harvest. They proved invaluable in freshening and balancing the fruit flavours.
S T Y L E
The 2016 Nine Popes was given a final polish in 100% new French oak puncheons for 60% of the blend. This wine to wood ratio has the effect of giving an almost gossamer-like dusting of new oak to the wine, rather than a solid hit which is exactly how we want it for the Popes. A deepish colour but not black, as is typical of Grenache wines. There is some real tar and roses complexity and a little hint of Eden Valley ironstone. This is a structured, spicy Popes that will sweeten and flower with time and remain rich and plush in the Popes tradition.
V I N I F I C A T I O N
Nine Popes is vinified with a couple of key objectives in mind. We use both whole bunch fermentation and de-stemmed but uncrushed berries during the maceration period, to ensure the greatest degree of fragrance along with cool fermentation temperatures and careful cap management to gain the silky texture and density that the Popes is known for. “Sur Lie” ageing in French oak for the whole 24-28 month maturation period adds additional mouthfeel and smoothness. The wine is then naturally settled and bottled without any finings whatsoever.
Grenache 50%, Shiraz 48%, Mourvèdre 2%
TA: 5.22 g/L