Produced exclusively from our Estate bush vines planted in 1946, high on our Estate’s deep sandy soils. Our Old Vine Grenache is complex, perfumed and elegant with a trademark tannin structure.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% Grenache
REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
WINEMAKING: Wild yeast ferment, 10 months maturation in 100% older French oak, no fining just filtration
Vineyard and Winemaking
This wine is comprised of Grenache from our dry-farmed bush vines, planted in 1946. These vines rest in ancient sands that overlie North Maslin geology. The source blocks were 23, 24, 25 and 29 on our single-vineyard estate. The grapes were hand-picked over two seperate dates; 16th and 23rd February (fruit/flower days). 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.
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: Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale
YEAR PLANTED: 1946
ELEVATION: 200m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
Hand-picked and mechanically sorted with 50% whole berries retained and the remaining fruit destemmed. We cold soaked the fermentation tanks for 5-6 days until the onset of a wild yeast fermentation. The open fermenter's underwent a careful regime of plunging and rack and returns. No pressings were used. The wine was kept on yeast lees for 10 months, in 100% older French oak. No fining occurred, just filtration. Certified Organic/Biodynamic.
TA: 6.5 g/L
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser
The 2019 growing season was a very dry, which resulted in incredibly low yields. We had a relatively warm lead up to the ripening period, which produced a very condensed and fast harvest.
96 Points | Wine Companion 2021: Red and purple fruits to the fore, fine-grained tannins bringing up the rear.
97 Points | Wine Companion 2020: It is a glorious example of grenache picked earlier than in the past, retaining all the freshness of red cherries/berries; spices starting to build, tannins beautifully shaped
97 Points | James Halliday Top 100 Wines of the Year 2018: Planted in 1946 on a sand dune in the cooler, elevated northeast of McLaren Vale. Hand-picked and sorted, then wild fermented. It is a glorious example of grenache picked early, retaining all the freshness of red cherries/berries, spices starting to build, tannins beautifully shaped.
94 Points | 2019 Halliday Wine Companion: From bushvines planted '46, 50% whole berries, 50% destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, matured for 10 months in used French oak. Very good colour; rich, full predominantly red fruits supported by fine tannins. No hint at all of confection or jam. The finish simply reinforces the depth and the freshness of the fruit from 70yo vines. Bargain. Drink by 2026
94 Points Nick Stock - jamessuckling.com Top 100 Wines: A decadent grenache with dried blueberries, tar, brambleberries and Chinese spices. The palate is also generous but well supported by grainy, tight tannins and a fine line of acidity. A crunchy, chewy finish. Drink in 2020. Screw cap.
91 Points Huon Hooke - The Real Review Sep 2018: Deep red/purple colour with a ripe plum and spice bouquet, rich and deep and layered. A full-bodied, solid wine with masses of firm tannins and the potential to reward keeping. (Off dry-grown vines planted in 1946. 50% whole berry and whole bunch)