2016 Doppio Chave Syrah
The concept of DOPPIO is to drill down at the varietal and look at the underlying clones being predominantly used in New Zealand to make Syrah. The concept came about during our first Syrah blending session in 2015, since 2014 was our first vintage in a newly built winery on the vineyard. During this blending session it became very apparent early on that the uniqueness of the two predominant clones at Ash Ridge, Mass Selection (MS) and Chave, had such interesting and diverse characters that is would have been a crime to totally blend these away, without sharing.
The Chave clone is believed to have been imported directly from the North Rhone Valley, from the Chave family vineyards, although it is unclear when or by whom the clone was brought to NZ.
On our home vineyard, located on the northern end of the Bridge Pa Triangle, nestled under Roys Hill, the chave clone grows in the free-draining red metal soils. From a growing point of view we have seen more consistent results with Chave in terms of vigour levels, disease resistance and ripening profile.
In the winery each year the clone is picked in small parcels and treated with whole bunch, barrel fermentation, carbonic maceration, pre soaks, post soaks, vessel choice, and finally pumped over or hand plunged. We like to give ourselves options for blending down the track by creating complexity from our single vineyard.