2021 Vintage Released May/June 2022
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 2020 has delivered wines of amazing quality. However, quantity is very limited, with it being one of the lowest grape yields ever in the Barossa at around 50% of average. Yields were dire due to a combination of early mild frost conditions, then a notably windy period (45% windier) around flowering leading to poor set (not many berries) followed by some hot days in November and an overall dry growing season (34% down). Notably, quality is of the highest echelon with rich colours and intense robust flavours.
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 March 18th and crushed into an open-top fermenter. Wild yeast from the vineyard were left to naturally ferment with the ferment temperature reaching 28 degrees C. Hand-pumpovers were employed twice daily during the fermentation. The alcoholic fermentation was complete in 12 days and then native malolactic bacteria fermented the natural malic acid into lactic acid. The wine remained in contact with submerged skins in a sealed vessel for exactly 365 days. On March 18th 2021 the free-run was drained 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.
2020 CCCLXV Durif 365 is deep black in colour with an intense purple rim.
It has striking aromatics. Captivating and dynamic, there is fresh grapes, clove spice, sarsaparilla, cherry ripe, roasted herbs and fruit cake.
The palate is rich and full-bodied. It is big and flavoursome across many dimensions. There is immense powerful dark fruit that reaches to all corners of the mouth set with equally vast tannins following the fruit throughout. Whilst a hefty wine on all accounts it is notably well unified with the fruit and tannin working in harmony to give a balanced wine of muscular structure. It is completed with a very lengthy finish. This is an audacious wine that can be enjoyed now in its early splendour or equally cellared for a decade or two.