Vintage 2018 released May 2019
CCCLXV: the roman numeral CCCLXV corresponds to Arabic number 365. CCCLXV = 365.
CCCLXV Durif… a wine of the utmost power displaying the heightened intensity that a protracted 365 days on skins gives to this naturally concentrated and intense variety.
Durif is a naturally dark, intense, tannic variety. When made in the ‘traditional’ way of 7-14 days on skins followed by maturation in oak barrel it delivers a superb immensely full-bodied drink that is often described as ‘Shiraz on steroids’. CCCLXV Durif 365 takes this a step further. By leaving the wine on skins for an entire year and not maturing it in any oak, the result is an even more concentrated, powerful and thick inky wine. It proclaims all that Durif has to give, allowing the flavour, colour and tannin generosity of the skins to entirely egress into the wine. By bottling after pressing with no barrel maturation, there is no oak intrusion, truly allowing for the Durif grape to shine in its absolute largesse.
Vintage 2017 was stunning. The vines got off to a fantastic start with a wetter than average Winter and mild Spring. Summer brought typically average warm conditions with some excellent rainfall, twice the average. This kept the vines in superb condition for steady ripening into Autumn which remained dry with warm sunny days and cool nights. Yields from 2017 are good and quality is exceptional.
CCCLXV Durif 365 is sourced from a single vineyard on the Kalleske property. The hand-pruned vines are low-yielding and are grown in shallow, sandy loam soil over superb deep red clay, providing ideal conditions for Durif.
The Durif was harvested on April 19th 2017 and crushed into a small open-top fermenter. A heading down screen was installed to submerge the skins in the juice. Wild yeast from the vineyard were left to naturally ferment with the ferment remaining cool and not exceeding 20 degrees C. The alcoholic fermentation took over a month to complete and then native malolactic bacteria fermented the natural malic acid into lactic acid. The wine remained in the fermenter with submerged skins for exactly 365 days. On April 19th 2018 the free-run was drained from the fermenter into a tank and then the skins were gently pressed with pressings blended into the same tank. After settling the wine was racked and then bottled with no oak maturation, fining or filtration.
CCCLXV Durif 365 is midnight black in colour with an intense purple rim.
The aroma is captivating, striking and fascinating. Intriguing and dynamic, there is fruit cake, fireplace, stewed plum, blackberry jam, dried herbs, dark chocolate and spice.
The palate is immense. Full-bodied, rich and mouth-filling. Ripe black fruits dominate leading to plum pudding and then strong grippy tannins. There is an oak-esque character as well, derived from a year on skins, as this wine has not seen an oak barrel. A muscular structure handsomely frames the rich palate. The vast generosity of this wine continues to the finish which endures close to perpetuity. CCCLXV Durif 365 is an audacious wine. Bold in every respect, it can be enjoyed now in its early splendour or equally cellared for a decade or two.