Plénárius: full; complete; entire; absolute
“Nothing added; nothing taken away”
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 intense and balanced flavours.
Plenarius is from a single vineyard of Viognier on the Kalleske property at Moppa. The vines are low yielding and soil is shallow sand with clay subsoil.
The grapes were harvested in the cool of the night on February 27th. They were then destemmed to an open top fermenter. It was treated like a red wine with hand pump-overs morning and night to circulate the fermenting juice through the skins extracting flavour and subtle tannin. The must was entirely wild fermented with absolutely no additions. The wine was on skins for 11 days with ferment temperatures ranging from 17 to 22 degrees Celsius, a process that is naturally oxidative. At dryness the must was drained and the wine was filled to seasoned French oak hogsheads. It underwent natural malolactic fermentation in barrel and was matured for 10 months on lees prior to racking for bottling with zero additions, bottling as 100% grapes.
The 2020 Plenarius Viognier is a rich golden colour.
Aromatically it is very expressive and dynamic with an abundance of marmalade, perfume, jasmine tea, honey, ginger and a hint of fresh hops.
The palate is an initial contrast to the sweet-smelling aroma. Beginning dry with a tart apple burst the full-flavoured palate continues to dried fruits and then lovely chalky tannin gives an expressive but affable grip. It has layers of texture, with a touch of glycerol balancing the light phenolics and natural acid. Eloquent is a summarizer for this wine – energetic and forceful enough but also fluent and genial with appropriate refinement. A lengthy finish completes this charming and enthralling Viognier with a complex mesh of aromas, flavours and textures providing a provocative and enchanting drink.
Recommended Drinking: Within 12-18 months from release.