Each year we put aside some time to experiment with a potential new product. Wines like the Seven Months, our Riesling Ancestral have become part of our staples via this fun part of the year. Back in 2017, after trying this lovely rosé from France, one that had spent time under a flor yeast, we thought yep, let’s do that.
Not an easy thing to do it turns out. Flor yeast are very sensitive and difficult to grow as they won’t do so in conditions it finds competitive. They can’t compete with acetobacter, other yeast strains preservatives, wine that is too acidic or not acidic enough, noisy places and certainly don’t like being moved or disturbed in any way. It’s like trying to mate panda’s, as I say, a challenge.
The AWRI yet again came to the rescue, with the supply of a know strain, isolated in 1947, and some handy instructions on how to grow them.
After some lab time and finding a quite place to set up the barrels we introduced our new flor culture to 6 ullaged barrels of 2017 Nebbiolo rosé. The flor took to five of these, the sixth now a vinegar mother, and they sat in a quite cellar for almost two years, untouched, untopped and, worryingly, untasted.
The day came in late April 2019 to see what happened under that thick pink flor coverage. A tasting revealed an amazing wine, so interesting “So good” said Mike Bennie who was there. So I bottled it, nothing else, no preservative or filtration.
Think of it as a sherry or sake, drink with salty and/or fatty foods.
A lot going on here, super savory, nutty, floral biscuity quite powerful & heady. The palate is surprisingly fresh, lively and full of brambly fruits