The name “ovitelli” is a portmanteau of ‘ovi’ and ‘vitelli’ meaning ‘egg’ and ‘life’ respectively. The vibrant fruit of the dry-grown 1946 planted bush vines is rewarded with a long, luxurious ferment and a whole Autumn on skins in big ceramic eggs. The Ovitelli is our most elegant Grenache from the sands at Yangarra, with great emphasis on perfume, tension and precision.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% GRENACHE
REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
WINEMAKING: Wild yeast, fermented and matured in ceramic eggs, fermenting on skins for 140 days. Certified Biodynamic.
Vineyard and Winemaking
Sourced solely from Block 30, which was planted in 1946 and is north-easterly adjacent to the High Sands block. The old bush vines are not irrigated and are pruned to an average of 20 buds per vine and shoot thinned to the same number in Spring to ensure there is balance to the canopy with each bunch being evenly spread.
The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption.
REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
VINE AGE: 69 years
ELEVATION: 200m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Deep sands
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
The fruit was hand-picked, then 100% was de-stemmed and mechanically berry-sorted, with only 50% crushed and tipped into two 675L ceramic eggs. The wild fermentation occurs in the eggs, and the wine remained on skins for 140 days. The pressings are not used in this wine. The wine is matured in the ceramic eggs. Not fined and bottled in January 2016. Certified Biodynamic.
TA: 7.2 g/L
PRODUCTION: 1128 bottles
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser and Shelley Torresan
During the 2015 growing season, we experienced steady warm days (with only one extreme heat day) resulting in rapid sugar accumulation leading to a relatively early and compressed harvest.
The Grapes were hand-picked on the 2nd March (leaf day), and meagerly yielded 24 hectolitres per hectare. As much as we pick on sugar/acid balance, and importantly physiological characters, we also consider the biodynamic calendar where possible, with fruit days and flower days being the most desirable, and a root day avoided
96 points Halliday Wine Companion: "A name change: goodbye Small Pot Ceramic Egg, hello Ovitelli, sounds classier. Still made in (two) ceramic egg vessels, destemmed fruit, 50% crushed and on skins for 140 days. The heady aromatics greet and promise more good things to come. superfine acidity, the pure line of fruit tannin, the energy and joy in this wine, quite profound. Drink 2032." (Halliday Wine Companion 2018)
95 points Gary Walsh: "Wild yeast, fermented and matured in two 675L ceramic eggs, fermenting on skins for 140 days. Grapes sourced from Block 30, planted in 1946. And, well, if ever there was a Grenache style for me, then no oak and heaps of grape tannin is it. Flowers, sugar coated almonds, cherry and raspberry, aromatic herbs, Medium bodied, red fruits and spice, beautiful mineral and brick dust tannin, perfume and almost cranberry juice acidity, freshness and great length, etched with tannin and scented with flowers and almond. What a beautiful wine. It’s an Italianate expression, as well as essence of Old Vine Grenache. Hats off to the team at Yangarra." (The Wine Front, May 2017)
93+ points Lisa Perrotti-Brown: "Pale to medium garnet-purple, the 2015 Grenache Ovitelli reveals a stunning nose of kirsch, dried roses, cinnamon stick, sandalwood and Sichuan pepper with hints of lavender and Marmite toast. Medium-bodied, taut and very nely structured in the mouth, the perfumed red berry flavors are textured by soft, fine-grained tannins, and it finishes with great persistence." (The Wine Advocate, South Australia Report, August 2017)
92 points Huon Hooke: "Medium red colour with a tinge of purple. The bouquet is very smoky, earthy and savoury. Later, more floral and aromatic than its High Sands siblings. The tannins are quite firm. Savoury spice flavours. It's very dry and very different. A lighter, elegant style of grenache. It's not easy to see the value in this, a very left-field grenache, but I have to admit it grew on me." (The Real Review, July 2017)
92 points James Suckling: 'Fascinating aromas of tea, rose hip, rose petal and dried strawberry. Some peach undertones. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a juicy finish. Very intense and flavorful. Needs time to come together in the bottle. Better in 2019. Screw cap.' (jamessuckling.com, July 2017)