A new release from the home block of Dane Johns (Momento Mori). Notes from Dane on the wine below:
The “tolone’ block is the other small vineyard on our farm and is planted mainly to Riesling. It has some Chardonnay interplanted within it and these plants are only evident later in the season when the slightly different shape of the leaves is recognisable to the trained eye. The vines are an average age of 27 years old. As with the other vineyard on the property it is farmed organically and has been since it was planted.
This is clearly evident in the abundance of life both in and above the ground.
The soils here are much the same as the Pinot block being mostly comprised of a
sedimentary sandstone base with a high silica content and with a friable loam layer over the top.
The loam layer is thinner here than in the pinot block, most likely due to the steepness of the slope. It is also much faster draining for the same reason.
The biggest difference with this block though is the aspect. It is facing predominately west and It is the highest hill on the property and indeed the area as a whole. This makes it extremely exposed to southerly weather systems coming in from the Bass strait.
In fact last season (2020) it was severely battered by a week of bad weather just after Spring flowering. Most of flowers were so badly damaged they did not produce any fruit.
Hence there was no wine made from this block in 2020.
As with the Nikau Pinot the aim here is to do as little as possible and let the fruit be what it wants to be. There were 48 hours of skin contact with a very light maceration.
The reason for this is that I believe the skins of any fruit hold some of the information and story of the place, the soils, and the weather that it is exposed to.
By omitting the skins totally I feel that you are losing some of the story and terroir.
As for the winemaking, after the cold soak as whole bunches it was pressed directly to a small stainless tank for a long cool ferment (it was mid April by this time)
There it sat for 8 months on full solids without being disturbed at all. It was then bottled by hand directly from that tank (without racking or moving the tank).
It has spent a further 18 months in bottle since composing itself.
The wine seems very refined. It is a dainty 9% alcohol but you wouldn’t know it, It has incredible structure and presence.
It is an elegant and haunting thing of beauty (I don’t say such things about my own wines lightly). It has so much vitality and freshness and is a very individual wine in it’s own right. There is nothing added to the wine at any stage of the process. It is as pure as it gets.