Sarah Ahmed on McLaren Vale ‘Grenache Greats’

Sarah Ahmed 'The Wine Detective' recently presented a McLaren Vale 'Grenache Greats' masterclass at Prowein in Dusseldorf, with the aim of showcasing top drawer, new wave McLaren Vale Grenache. We were thrilled that our 2015 High Sands Grenache was included in this masterclass. 

'The envelope-pushing continues – Fraser additionally makes Grenache in concrete eggs and ceramic pots (about which you can read in this report of my visit in 2015, which also features a mini-vertical of High Sands).  Though this vintage of High Sands has no new oak, in 2017, Fraser has trialled a Burgundy-coopered water-bent barrel of extra fine grain new oak with medium long toast “with some very exciting results.”  “The thinking,” he added, “was how do Grand Cru Burgundies fit so much new oak, but still have this amazing perfume etc, but yet Grenache it’s a winemaking no no!”  I won’t share his secret, but it points towards the ambition around a variety which, for many years, was viewed with contempt.'

.Read Sarah's full article here.

'Planted in 1946, Yangarra Estate’s Blewitt Springs vineyard is a slope on sand over clay on ironstone, which rises to 211m.  “Driving to a more pure and precise expression of the site and the variety” is the goal for Chief Winemaker Peter Fraser.  Vineyard tweaks over the years include biodynamic cultivation and zooming in on just one block of High Sands’ vines (block 31).  In the winery, a Mistral sorting table has upped the strike rate for ejecting shrivelled berries, the oak regime has been tempered (the 2006 spent 24 months in barriques, 10% new versus 11 months in a mix of seasoned 225l and 500l barrels for this wine) and, in this vintage, Fraser has dispensed with rack and returns in favour of (gentler, less oxidative) plunging over.

The envelope-pushing continues – Fraser additionally makes Grenache in concrete eggs and ceramic pots (about which you can read in this report of my visit in 2015, which also features a mini-vertical of High Sands).  Though this vintage of High Sands has no new oak, in 2017, Fraser has trialled a Burgundy-coopered water-bent barrel of extra fine grain new oak with medium long toast “with some very exciting results.”  “The thinking,” he added, “was how do Grand Cru Burgundies fit so much new oak, but still have this amazing perfume etc, but yet Grenache it’s a winemaking no no!”  I won’t share his secret, but it points towards the ambition around a variety which, for many years, was viewed with contempt.'

April 23rd 2018 | 0 Comments | Tags: wine, grenache, vineyard, mclaren vale, high sands, biodynamic, peter fraser, yangarra

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