Allow us to prattle on a little more about this...
The Project: The Artisans Grenache Project that further confirms the solid foundations underpinning our growing reverence for Grenache. Each of the 6 Artisans winemakers were given access to 2 rows apiece from one of the Barossa’s finest Grenache vineyards, then given free rein to produce a Grenache that ‘they’d like to drink’.
The Vineyard: Quarry Hill Vineyard in Light Pass was planted in 1971 and sits 360m above sea level. It’s height and the arvo gully winds which push through it allow for an extended ripening period, and a very bright expression of fruit as a result. The Wines – presented in order of lightest to biggest.
Grenache Project: Schell (Spinifex Wines) This is one seriously amazing Grenache. It is lifted, spicy and intense with bright raspberry and rhubarb on show. White pepper too and beautiful acidity balancing natural fruit sweetness. A beautiful accord here between power and vibrancy.
Grenache Project: Schwarz (Schwarz Wine co) Whole fruit was given 9 days carbonic maceration before a footstomp and transfer a few days later into old oak. Carbonic maceration or Cab Mac is a technique used in Beaujolais which allows the ferment to start inside the grape enhancing bright fruit while controlling tannins. Jason Schwarz’s wine is delicious and complex and a little dark. There’s liquorice and red fruit compote along with some blue fruits. More complex stuff too like dried herbs and tomato leaf. The texture is exceptional and velvety.
Grenache Project: Collins (Massena) Jaysen put whole bunched of Grenache into tank and left them there for 5 weeks before foot stomping and eventually putting it into old French oak. A little closed on opening, an hour later it is all poutpourri on the nose, a sweetly floral yet savoury and inviting aroma. Flavours are intriguing too, with Christmas cake and spices, brandied fruits and orange rind. Wild, savoury and sweet and a great match for steak.
Grenache Project: Ryan/ Cowham (Sons of Eden) They used 100% whole bunches for this wine and left the wine on its skins post ferment for a staggering 65 days to help build both velvety body and complexity. This is high acid with ripe round fruit. This is very textural, mouthcoating and has plenty of fine tannins on the finish. Good by itself and a great match with red meat.
Grenache Project: Duval (John Duval Wines) This is lifted with some acetone on the nose, lots of liquorice here too. Fruit is a little closed on opening but with air, blue, dark and intense fruits emerge and with very good persistence. Quite a big Grenache this. Worth pairing up with some high quality Porchetta or pork belly.
Grenache Project: Hobbs (Hobbs of Barossa Ranges) A little volatility on the nose here – but the palate is all rich, sweet fruit and mouth filling intensity. Not surprising given the ‘Amarone’ style air drying the fruit received for 5 days prior to fermentation. This is powerful stuff, super voluptuous and with superb length of flavour. Charred meats and or meat heavy antipasto with this one.