Eldorado Road Riserva Nero d'Avola 2021

'Riserva wines are only made when a barrel is unanimously judged to be of exceptional quality. This is only our third Riserva release since we first started showing our wines in 2010 – we clearly set the bar exceptionally high. While the 2021 vintage will be remembered for painfully low yields, we are proud that it will also be recognised for achieving ‘Riserva’ levels of quality.

 The 2021 Riserva Nero d’Avola is comprised of three barriques from a single ferment. This parcel of fruit was sourced from a section of our home vineyard that consistently delivers the highest quality fruit. The beautifully mild growing season saw us carefully handpick and sort these berries two weeks later than we would normally expect. By the time it had reached an optimal 13.6 Baumé, the flavour was bountiful and natural acidity was preserved; we foresaw a beautifully balanced and vibrant wine. Paul noted that the picking dates in 2022 were akin to what was ‘normal’ 25 years ago; there is certainly no debate around here as to the changing of our climate.

Once in the winery, the fruit was chilled overnight then destemmed, but not crushed. 20% of the free-run juice was drained off and the berries were placed into an open fermenter with a layer of whole bunches sandwiched in the middle.

 This was the first wine we fermented in our new Italian Nico Velo concrete tulip, and we were very excited. We allowed wild fermentation to commence, with gentle hand plunging occurring daily during the eight-day primary ferment. Post fermentation, we locked it down and continued to plunge daily to wet the cap. A quick look at our winemaking notes of the time reveals a comment, “Very tight, fine, needs time to develop some flesh”. It was from this point that the wine really started to shine, and we saw the beginnings of what would become one of the stand-out ferments of the vintage.

 The wine spent a total of 16 days on skins before we gently basket-pressed it to French oak; the three barriques we eventually selected for Riserva were all 2017 barrels, this being their fourth fill.

 We had purchased the concrete tulip with the intention of using it for the maturation of our best Nero d’Avola parcels. Our goal was to trim a little of the really overt fruit characteristics and allow for a more complex and layered wine. However, given the growing season and the tight nature of the wine post-fermentation, it was decided that seasoned oak would be a better option in 2021.

 A second look at our winemaking notes reveals Paul to be very excited about this wine, as he wrote in August 2021; “Very good colour, translucent, floral, delicate, pretty, fine, even & tight, amazing!”

 He earmarked it that day as a potential Riserva wine, and 12 months later we’re glad to say it well and truly made the cut. Gently filtered, vegan-friendly, and hand bottled on site August 2022.'

- Eldorado Wines

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