In traditional Burgundy winemaking you may find the term “mis en bouteille au domaine” printed on the label to inform that the grower of the vines was also responsible for making and bottling the wine on the estate. This confirms the authenticity of origin of the grapes and the wine. We continue this tradition with Silver Spoon Estate.
Our grapes are picked by hand and, due to the immediate proximity to the winery, are delivered with the berry skins intact. There is thus no need to add sulphur preservative prior to fermentation which otherwise would have destroyed the natural yeasts in the vineyard. The wild yeasts add flavour complexity during primary fermentation. It also enables the second fermentation, malolactic fermentation to continue naturally. Only at the completion of this second stage of fermentation do we add carefully calibrated quantities of sulphur dioxide to prevent future unwanted fermentation or spoilage.
Our wines are aged in a combination of French oak barrels and inert containers and then blended prior to f ini ng and bottling. We pick the grapes at lower potential alcohols levels than most Australian shiraz producers. We ai in for a range between 13% to 13.5% to ensure that the natural fruit flavours in the wi ne are not overpowered by alcohol We favour expressing the natural tannins from the grape skins over introduced oak. I t means that we can use more gentle oak treatment to reach the point of balance between fruit and textural characters. Picking at lower potential alcohol generally correlates with slightly higher natural juice acidity. This promotes a balanced flavour to the wine as an accompaniment to a meal. reduces the need for added sulphur dioxide, and supports long term maturation in the bottle.
Prior to bottling we blend the w ines in an inert stainless steel tank and add a fining agent (such as gelatine or isinglass) to remove suspended solids. The agent and the solids cling to each other and fall to the bottom of the tank. The clean wine is then gently pumped off its solids and is ready for bottling.
We do not filter the w ine, as it has a tendency to remove colou r and flavour. For this reason you may find a tiny quantity of sediment in the bottle, as is commonplace with red wines made in a similar fashion.
After careful research (and a few semi-religious debates) we have chosen to adopt screwcap closures over cork. It is widely accepted that screwcap is more effective at keepi ng air out of the bottle, and that wines aged under sc re wca p taste d ifferently to those aged under cork. We accept the more debated view that wines can mature in the bottle without the slow ingress of oxygen. Wines bottled under screwcap are less susceptible to temperature fluctuations during inevitable bottle transport and storage, resulting in a wine that remains fresh tasting with higher consistent quality.