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Winemaking can be an unpredictable business, constantly at the wanton will of Mother Nature, but every so often she throws you a gem.
In 2013, La Violetta owner/winemaker Andrew Hoadley was offered some extraordinarily good Cabernet and a little Malbec by a grower near Mount Barker. As he went through the process of making the wine, he tread as softly as he could.
“I just wanted to be very gentle with it - I sealed it up, left it on skins, didn’t work it, left it to its own devices. And I think the result is a really great expression of the vineyard.” - AJ Hoadley
This wine is the result of a right place, right time scenario and may not be made again. With only 53 dozen made and Mike Bennie’s comments that “you’re getting a wine of some heft, weight, concentration, but a lovely pillowy, soft, supple feel.”, this is one for premium collectors of unique and boutique wines.
An unforced and restrained wine with power and elegance in toe.
What It Tastes Like
“I’d love to say texture like rayon but it’s more velvety. In the end, you’re getting a wine of some heft, weight, concentration, but a lovely pillowy, soft, supple feel. It flows through the palate with authority yet feels cuddly and warm too. It smells of plums, new leather, liquorice, dried herbs, faintly minty. It’s ripe-fruited but shows frisky acidity underlying and pulls together on rails of very fine, dusty tannins. It’s great drinking, especially if you like fuller flavoured wines.” - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
93 points. “From Colline-Foret vineyard. Made when the fruit is available. Made by Andrew Hoadley. Although the name has nothing to do with the fabric, it comes to front of mind. Where would have the 1980s been without it? Or the 1880s, for that matter. Silk can be expensive!
I’d love to say texture like rayon but it’s more velvety. In the end, you’re getting a wine of some heft, weight, concentration, but a lovely pillowy, soft, supple feel. It flows through the palate with authority yet feels cuddly and warm too. It smells of plums, new leather, liquorice, dried herbs, faintly minty. It’s ripe-fruited but shows frisky acidity underlying and pulls together on rails of very fine, dusty tannins. It’s great drinking, especially if you like fuller flavoured wines.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Le Rayon V
The 2013 vintage is sourced from a sensitively managed, dry grown old Cabernet block near Mt Barker, delivering fruit of remarkable intensity and elegance. A small percentage of Malbec heightens the intensity. Fermentation took place in small open top vessels, with hand plunging of the cap and délestage using gravity. After pressing off skins, the wine matured for 17 months in one French hogshead and two barriques. It will develop complexity with at least 10 years careful cellaring. 640 bottles.
Pourquoi ‘Le Rayon V’?
A violet flash (in French, ‘rayon violet’) or green flash (‘rayon vert’) is a rare phenomenon that may be observed at sunset only under very clear conditions. Caused by the selective atmospheric refraction of sunlight at the horizon, so that shorter light wavelengths are the last to be seen as the sun disappears, it is featured in Eric Rohmer’s 1986 film ‘Le Rayon Vert’. The 19th Century French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, himself an imbiber of note, uses the term in his intriguing work, ‘Voyelles’:
O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges: — O l’Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux! —
The name ‘Le Rayon V’ was chosen for this label as it is reserved for small, unique parcels of fruit which may never be seen again.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Few winemakers bring as much creativity and flair to their label as the mercurial Andrew Hoadley. With a mischievous, child-like joy, he has set about crafting La Violetta, one of the most fascinating wine ranges in Western Australia, and indeed, the country.
His wines are inspiring, each a creation all of its own. With a mix of single vineyard, single varietal wines and some exotic blends, these some of the most thought-provoking wines in the West.
The Great Southern is the largest wine region in the country. Though more and more, the label “Great Southern” is becoming redundant. It is the sub-regional exploration of terroir which is distinguishing this region. From Frankland River to Porongorup, from Mount Barker to Denmark, the detailed and stylish wines emerging from these sub-regions are some of the most intriguing in the country. No longer a “poor man’s Margaret River”, whether you love Riesling, Cabernet, Shiraz or Pinot, this stunning cool climate region will blow you away with the value and refinement inherent in everything it produces. And the good thing is, it is only getting better.
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