The Luddite Chenin is a real “push the boat out” wine. 2018 continued the trend of a dry, hot lead-up to the vintage so crops were down again and our picking date seems to move earlier and earlier each year. We still pick earlier than most producers so that we can retain our natural acidity and freshness. The wine was fermented naturally on skins with morning and evening punch downs. After fermentation, the grapes were pressed and racked with lees and sediment into barrel. I feel by doing this we have allowed the wine to express richer flavour and a fuller structure. We used old barrels to allow the natural grape expression to come through. The wine was left on lees for 12 months with regular batonnage – no sulphur was added to allow the wine to develop its own characteristics without any intervention.
The only time we interfered with this wine was to add sulphur to protect it during the bottling process. We feel that this sulphur binds out within a couple of months, leaving, what we feel, is an absolutely natural wine. This is the lowest alcohol Chenin we have ever made, but it still shows lovely texture and fullness on the palate. A very cerebral wine.
Grapes were sourced from one vineyard site, harvested on 1st February 2018. 1.000 bottles of this vintage were produced.
Appearance: Rich, golden straw hue.
Nose: Spicy, touch of freshly buttered toast and Star Anise. After a while nose opens up to give hints of peach.
Palate: Clean refreshing entry. Green plums, melon on fore-palate. Pears, spice, cinnamon on mid-palate. Long lean after taste with a hint of peachy sweetness right at the finish.
Lowest alcohol ever, 11.5% because of dry weather/earlier picking, but nothing else trim. Wild ferment on skins, 12 months on lees in older barrels, taut, savoury, sleek 2018 has ginger biscuit, crushed walnut scents, the fruit peach & melon. Winemaker Niels calls it ‘cerebral’. Spot on.