We asked Anthony D’Onise from Windowrie Winery, the winemaker behind Borrowed Cuttings, what was the biggest challenge in making borrowed cuttings piquepoul blanc...
It was probably trying to understand the wine styles available in the variety. There was no Australian benchmark but what helped was my experience in Hungary, Germany and France - in what might be possible working with high acid in the grape.
For example to understand the structure of the grape we knew from our 2015 grapes that they are going to be huge, bulbous size berries in big bunches, puckering skins, with vigorous early growth. The special clones produced an amazing match.
One observation was that there was a true balanced relationship between the sugar levels and flavour building...they had high acids (citrus) but accumulated sugars slowly, evenly, hand-in-hand with the flavours. So, a nice balance. They came on three weeks later than chardonnay, whereas we thought from last year they would be an earlier maturing variety. The indications are the variety may well suit climate change happening around us, they took to it really well.
Steve Feletti provided the two main bottled style examples and shepherded us towards his preferred full-bodied style as opposed to the cheap and cheerful model. It took a couple of taste direction events but I think we got there comfortably. The results speak for themselves really, when the nation’s major wine critic called it “..an astonishing match with Steve’s oysters”
And we asked Jason O’Dea, the Production Manager and overall strategist, what was his biggest challenge?
Firstly recognising the big berries on this variety - we had indications from our previous year at his property, but you still don’t know what this new variety is capable of in the season, or what turn it may take. Steve was chasing product quickly and so we decided grafting onto Verdelho would provide the bulk of product in the shortest time. So the biggest challenge was not knowing what it will do. There was a degree of worry involved for some time, let me tell you!
Flavours developed slowly at a nice measured pace, no big leaps or jumps. It's an upward-grower, seeking the sky, and quite vigorous. We had big big bunches of big, big berries, it seemed to handle the 'overload' quite well, but maybe in the future we will prune back and chase more structure into the flavour. The variety certainly lives up to its speciality as the default wine for oysters, an incredible match!
2017 has been a great year for windowrie!
Anthony has not only delivered a cracker 2017 vintage of our Borrowed Cuttings Piquepoul Blanc...he's also chalked up a momentous Best Organic Wine of the year at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show for his 2016 Pig in the House Shiraz. The wine was awarded the trophy for Best Organic or Dynamic Wine of the Show, along with a Gold Medal (96/100) in its class.
Windowrie Winery’s Pig In The House wines also shone at this year’s Cowra Wine Show, picking up medals across its range. Pig In The House received bronze awards for its Chardonnay and Shiraz and in the Other White Variety class, while the vineyard’s Family Reserve Shiraz and white Natural Wine also received bronze.