An amphora fermented Saperavi made by Glenn James
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“Pyrrha, the red-headed daughter of Pandora, threw stones over her shoulder to create life again after the great deluge.”
Pyrrha is a unique hand crafted wine made using ancient winemaking methods that are still practiced in some parts of Europe today. She also represents a very personal winemaking ‘journey’ of her Winemaker Glenn James. It’s all about letting go!
Saperavi was the obvious choice for a red variety to make in an amphora, given the extensive history of the variety being made in clay vessels in its homeland, Georgia. In Greek mythology, Pyrrha was indeed the red headed daughter of Pandora. In fact, Pyrrha is an ancient Greek word for the colour red, (we have words in English today that reflect this…like pyrotechnics and pyrite).
As with Pandora’s Amphora, Pyrrha is a wine that is hand harvested and then fermented in a single terracotta ‘Amphora’.
Fermentation occurs using only the ‘indigenous’ yeast from the vineyard’s own terroir. Once fermentation is complete Pyrrha is then sealed up and her precious contents matured on the skins and seeds for around 200 days. All the flavours and many other grape derived compounds produced by the vines each season in the presence of fermentation lees (yeast and malolactic bacteria) are slowly extracted and transformed during this period to produce a complex savoury red wine with long silky tannins.
Pyrrha is then gently basket pressed and it is only at this point that the wine has a small addition of sulphur dioxide to preserve all that has been captured. The wine is then matured on light yeast lees for twelve months in a French puncheon (500L oak barrel).
Bottling occurs after careful racking, without any filtration or the use of fining agents.
Production: 600 bottles
Region: McLaren Vale, South Australia
Vineyard: Olive Grove Vineyard
Varieties: Mataro 100%