Renegade, 'Jai' Skin Contact Ortega 2019
Hand harvested then shipped by Renegade in refrigerated trucks at 2˚C direct to the London winery.
Wine fully made in London, UK.
What is Ortega? It’s a white skinned grape variety that was created in 1948 in Germany. It’s a cross of Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe. As such it really likes the cooler climate the UK can offer and it is a very aromatic grape variety, that loves a touch, or in this case, a shed load of skin contact.
This wine was made by destemming the grapes over a wire mesh by hand. Essentially they rub the bunches and let the grapes drop through into the fermentation tank. They do this so as to be very gentle and reduce skin breakage. The grapes then start fermenting spontaneously, without the addition of any yeast - otherwise known as wild fermentation. Naturally present yeasts are already within the winery environment and on the grape skins. Think sourdough. No additions of sugar, nutrients, or de-acidification methods/any other winemaking was used to make this wine.
The grapes are left to ferment in contact with the skins (with daily manual punch downs) for nearly 3 weeks before being pressed off and transferred to used French oak barrels. The barrels were previously used to age Chardonnay. This use of used oak, allows the wine to age softly with the benefit of micro-oxidation through the grain of the oak and also helps the wine go through malolactic fermentation where the natural malic acid is converted to lactic acid.
What’s the wine like? Well as it’s completely unfiltered and unfined it’s a little hazy to look at in the glass. On the nose, it’s really aromatic, think grapefruit and jasmine. It’s a delicate floral punch. A little similar to a skin contact Bacchus (if you know our wine Rahul) but less elderflowery and peachy and more floral with a citrus burst… Soft and rounded on the palate and not punchy in terms of alcohol. 2019 was a good year but it ended a little cool and wet and as such, this wine only sits at 11% alcohol.
Region: Gloucestershire, England
Size: 75cl bottle