2016 GUENDULAIN FARM – William Downie

“It’s all pretty basic really,” says Bill Downie. “The vineyard is a little more than an acre, mostly planted at 10k vines/ha. About 1/4 is at 11.7k vines/ha and a tiny bit is at 20k vines/ha. We do everything either by hand or with our horse (spraying, mulching, harvest, etc). We don’t use any synthetic chemicals or herbicide and we don’t till the soil.

Guendulaine Farm – photo: @williamdownie


“Winemaking is as close to non-existent as we can manage,” continues Bill. “100% whole bunch, hand sorted and put in a tank. No additions, no temperature control, no punch downs, no pump overs. Pressed after about 30 days then filled to old oak. Bottled straight out of the barrel by gravity with no SO2.”


So how does it taste?


2016 Guendulain Farm

Guendulain colours the glass an opaque purplish red, like the colour of blood plums and dark cherries juiced together in a blender. A quick swirl reveals a heady posy of brooding black fruits still on the bramble, slightly baked, at first, but given enough air time, a sweet and savoury stemmyness beguiles soon enough…  Juicy and thick, and plush past the lips, fleshy and supple, conveying a dense palate of tart blackberries and rhubarb, sweet purple plums and dark cherry piths hedged in by a dusty tannin structure. Will keep a while, no doubt$120 / 13%

The 2016 Guendulain Farm might still be available from… william@williamdownie.com.au

D// – @honandaniel

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