Pedra Branca, meaning white rock, is a 2.5 hectare outcrop about 25 kilometres to the South of Tasmania. First sighted by explorer Abel Tasman on 29 November 1642, some 450 years later it remains equally formidable, and source of marvel. It has a capacity to strike fear to the heart of a ships captain, yet inspire those fortunate to experience its wonder, as it survives the intimidating elements of the southern ocean, yet retain its rich and unique wildlife.
Pedra Branca has been used as the inspiration for our annual project series. Celebrating the forces of nature, and its capacity to create something unique and remarkable. These are very small volume wines, where Matt has found distinctive parcels of fruit, taken some creative liberties and seen just what is possible.
Our first wine is a 2011 Adelaide Hills Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc released on August 13, and a 2011 Barossa Valley Mourvedre to be released on November 29.When asked why he picked Sauvignon Blanc for Pedra Branca...Matt commented: "I have always enjoyed drinking it, but getting something extra into the wines would sometimes be a challenge. I found the most effective ways are to ferment in french oak, blend in a percentage of Semillon or both. When the Sauvingnon Blanc came into the winery (taken from an 18 year old cane pruned block in Kuitpo), most of the juice was fermented in stainless steel (For Houdini) with a percentage (around 15-20%) done in new Cadus Nevers barriques. I have used Cadus with many wines over the years and in Sauvignon Blanc always found it to be subtle, but still giving fine texture. Pedra Branca, is 100% oak fermented and matured for 8 months. The ferment was initiated with wild yeast, and about half way through the fermentation, was inoculated with a commercial strain. The wine sat on gross yeast lees for the 8 month period and I stirred the lees dizzy whenever I walked past the barrels and remembered to do it. These wines need character and structure, they can't just look like Sauvignon blanc that has been in oak. Because of their complexities, I feel that these wines can age pretty well"
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