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 2021 was an exemplary year with fine wines and good yields. Growing season rainfall was marginally below average and temperatures were mild ensuring vine canopies remained healthy. Vintage weather was absolutely perfect throughout, with dry mild-warm days and cool nights ensuring even and steady ripening across all varieties. There is strong colour and flavour across all the reds along with excellent structure and balance whilst the whites are bright, fresh and elegantv.
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 28th and crushed into an open-top fermenter. Wild yeast from the vineyard were left to naturally ferment with the ferment temperature reaching 31 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 28th 2022 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.
2021 CCCLXV Durif is thick purple-black in colour.
The aroma is bright with vintage grapes, cola, dark chocolate, violets, sweet clove and Christmas cake with brandy sauce.
These beautiful fruit characters continue to the immense palate. Rich, full-bodied, full-flavoured and exquisitely balanced. Upfront plushness of generous dark fruits lead to a muscular structure and then refreshing grippy tannins to take the wine to a very long and pleasantly dry finish. This is an audacious wine that can be enjoyed now in its early splendour or equally cellared for a decade or two.