2016 Rock of Wisdom Mataro

Sourced from the Mataro vineyard in the Koonunga sub region. We have never added any stalks or whole bunches to our Mataro as this fruit takes so long to ripen that the stalks have yet to reach the level of ripeness that we are looking for. Mataro is the one wine we work hard to during fermentation. We push for higher temperatures and longer pump overs and or several punch downs a day (4-6) as extraction is key with this wine.

With oak this wine matures in older French oak. Depending on the year we will shave a certain number for this wine but never 100% as we wish to keep the oak influence on the back foot so the fruit shines through first and foremost. Due to 2017 being a cooler wetter year we chose not to release a straight Mataro as the wine didn’t meet our standards.

2016 was a great year for Mataro, the long even growing season allowed for the fruit to reach full physiological ripeness. With warm ferment temps and longer pumpovers we were able to pull out the rich tannin profile along with the both the vibrant darker fruits ad meaty savoury notes Mataro is so well known for. We aged this wine in older French oak to allow the primary fruits and secondary savoury aspects to fully integrate.

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Description

Rock of Wisdom came about when Sofi (Wisdom) let Pete (Rock) go nuts and make 3 batches of wine in 2013. We started it all with the Core Range – Grenache, Mataro and the Shiraz Viognier. From day one we have been driven by the need to share our interpretation of our home (the beautiful and amazing Barossa Valley) with the world via the wines we make.

Our house style is focused on using the more traditional varieties that call the Barossa home, Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro. With me (Pete) having worked in both large (Penfolds) and small (Torbreck) wineries in the Barossa, Clare, Sonoma and Châteauneuf-du-Pape I was schooled in the importance of respecting the site (terroir) of each block and how to get the best from them. That understanding of the Terroir of the sites we source our fruit from is why we can craft the wines that we do.

Our style is best defined as ‘minimal intervention’. The only additions we do are small acid adjustments and small SO2 adds and we use Fermaid O (organic nutrient) during ferment, in a small one off add. We use wild yeasts and wild malo bugs. We don’t add tannin to our wines as that goes against our ethos of letting the fruit speak. We do not use copper in our wines either which is why our wine benefit from being decanted (it wakes the wine from its slumber). We do not filter or fine our wines (only exception is our Rose as the market is still not comfortable with cloudy Roses but that’s a rant for another day).

We only use French oak as American oak would blow our wines apart. We are now playing around with varying levels of shaved oak in the wines. We only lightly shave the barrels and are not re-toasting the oak as the notes obtained from re-toasted oak will unbalance our style of wine.

Our wines are all handmade, our de-stemmer goes as fast as we can shovel grapes into it, our ferments are 1 ton or less in size (allows for different techniques on the same fruit), we only use open fermenters as this gives the best airflow around the ferment and allows for the nasty volatile compounds to blow off easily, our basket presses are hand operated (the amount of time we spend pressing would give an accountant a heart attack), we gravity fill our barrels and hand fill our bottles.

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