We make wines that make people go "WOW!" through attention to detail and commitment to excellence!
The "WOW" factor we refer to results from three fundamentals in our winemaking.
We begin with the intensive Marquis Vineyard Watering Programme®, which delivers the unique Marquis Fruit Weight®, and once bottled the crowd-pleasing Mollydooker Shake® comes into play.
Below we explain the steps we take to achieve the “Wow” in the winery.
Before we harvest grapes from any vineyard, we aim to get exceptional colour and flavour and the highest possible Marquis Fruit Weight®, whilst maintaining a mature tannin structure. The first step is to ensure yeast is added shortly after the fruit is crushed, so that we preserve as much flavour in the grapes. Once crushed, we monitor the temperature of the grapes very closely to help establish the best conditions for fermentation.
During fermentation, the grape sugar converts to alcohol and we ferment the grapes at very low temperatures; often less than 14 °C and sometimes as low as 4° C! This slows down the process and ensures the wine has plenty of skin contact to extract the amazing colour and flavour developed in the vineyards. We taste the ferments twice a day during this period and once the sugar levels drop to 5 Baumé, we press and immediately transfer the wine to barrel to complete the primary fermentation process.
Although barrel fermentation is a labour intensive process, it’s worth it. The wine has a greater capacity to absorb oak when actively fermenting, and consequently speeds up the maturation process as much as two months. This process also allows the barrels to become seasoned through ferment, meaning the oak is softer and more integrated. This is why our wines are more approachable and we’re able to release our wines earlier to you.
Once we rack the wine from barrels into tank, we confirm there are no fermentable sugars remaining in the wine. The wine is then transferred into barrels of a specific oak profile. Each year, we work closely with our coopers, World Cooperage and Heinrich to develop our barrels and achieve very specific flavour profiles. We use both American and French Oak, with a mixture of medium and fine grains and various levels of toasting. These variances allow us to develop different structure and flavours in our wines. Wines from each vineyard block are kept separate and assigned to specific barrels to achieve the desired flavour profile. This is an important step to begin crafting the perfect balance in each of our wines.
When the wine has finished malolactic fermentation, or had sufficient time in barrel, it's racked from oak. Since the wine is very delicate at this time, we use a blanket of carbon dioxide to protect the wine’s flavours. Each barrel is tasted and assigned a score, which then translates into a percentage that indicates how much influence we require from each type of barrel. A new barrel profile is then assigned to each wine and further refines the characters. Our team treat each barrel with as much care as they would their own furniture (since each barrel costs as much as a new couch), scrubbing and cleaning, sulphuring when necessary, marking and sorting… before finally filling each with its new wine. Generally the wines are in oak for a total of eight months to achieve complexity and balance.
Sarah and the winemaking team taste each separate batch of wine to gauge when enough oak influence is achieved. From here, we begin the blending process, sampling and blending each batch to create the finished Mollydooker wine. Once complete, the wines are chilled to 5 °C to force the sediment out of the wines in tank. By this time harvest and vintage is just around the corner… and we begin the process again for the new vintage wines.