Region: Ferguson Valley & Mount Barker, Western Australia
57% Gewürztraminer and 43% Riesling
Most of the gewürz comes from a high elevation slope of gravelly loam, a few km south of Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley. The other small parcel is from one of Great Southern’s oldest vineyards. Hand harvested, destemmed and given several hours skin contact, then pressed off to tank and old oak without sulphur to start fermenting. The riesling comes from a gravelly ironstone hillside west of Mount Barker, one of my favourite Great Southern vineyards in an excellent vintage for the variety. This year, a bucket of 100% whole bunch pinots meunier and noir adds the griserie, a subliminal copper hue, accentuating the colour picked up from gewürz skin contact.
Rosewater, citrus blossom and as a friend said, “something I can’t put my finger on, white musk or something sexy...” Okay, let’s run with that. Delicious moreish acidity, with textural phenolics, balanced with lees contact and barrel ferment roundness, the barest touch of residual sugar (2 g/L).
La Violetta began producing small quantities of wine at Denmark, on Western Australia’s south coast, in 2008. Grapes are sourced from a handful of trusted growers with exceptional vineyards, some amongst the oldest in the state most of which are managed organically. The idea is to keep production at a small scale so that each wine is personally hand-crafted.
As to the name, La Violetta derives from an old Piedmontese song celebrating the joys of intoxication.