Ravensworth 'The long way around' Margaret River Chenin Blanc 2020
'From over 5000km they came - across both the Nullabor and Bass Strait - five trucks, one train and a boat carrying eight varieties, from five regions to finally reach home, Murrumbateman. You might say the long way around.
We knew early our fruit was toast from bushfires. Many friends from far away offered us fruit and processing space so we scratched together an eclectic mix of esoterica.
Like Gamay and Cabernet franc, Chenin blanc comes from the Loire valley and its one of those intriguing varieties that has many guises. It would be on most winemaker’s hit list so when this popped up as an option for filling the vast void of our lost vintage, I was pleasantly buoyed with playing around with yet another new variety, this makes number 29 I think, and it being Chenin opened up to a whole lot of options in production. Turned out to be distant and isolated options as WA’s Premier closed the border to us New South Welshmen halfway through the fermentation.
Production was left in the very capable hands of Margaret River’s McHenry Hohnen winery. Winemaker, all round good guy and beautifully named, Jacopo Dalli Cani fulfilled all our expectations, and more, in the cellar.
Like the rest of the Long Way Around range, this wine was in for a fucking epic journey to get to our eagerly awaiting cellar. Here the wine spent the next 8 months in two brand new, and continuing the theme, Italian amphorae. Tava Anfora are situated on the shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy. This ceramic like texture of these beautiful pieces of stoneware, is perfect for maturing delicate varieties like chenin. They preserve these aroma and don’t hinder them with oaken flavours plus they work well in softening larger polyphenols from extended skin-contact. It’s a natural softening and you get an added impression of mineral notes. which is all good.
Another wine of ‘heightened’ colour from skin contact, sure we could remove that by adding shit it but this is what wine looks like in raw form, if it worries you drink from vitrified clay cups as we do all skin-contact wines now, it’s a little caveman but that’s needed sometimes. The aromatics lean toward autumn orchard fruits: quince, apple, pear, a waft of windfallen nectarine and peach. There’s also citrus, peel and pith plus a fragrant yet-esoteric white flower note if you care to look deep into your wine, imagination and vinious vocabulary. Sure there’s texture there but it is in flux with the super high acid of this variety that can make rieslings seem a little flabby. It’s so good, we shall meet again.'