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 grapes were picked on March 18th and March 26th and then destemmed into an open top fermenter. The must was native-yeast fermented for 14 days on skins with hand pump-overs twice a day. After pressing off skins the Durif was filled to a mix of 25% new and the balance used American oak hogsheads. The wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. The Durif was matured in barrel for twelve months prior to bottling.
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.