The first thing you notice is this interesting vineyard as part of suburbia. This fully organic certified vineyard and winery is settled amongst the housing estates of Onkaparinga Hills and Hackham. One certainly does not expect a vineyard in this location.
To my knowledge they are one of only two fully certified organic growers and wineries in McLaren Vale. Many others are in the certification regime but have not been fully certified as yet.
The owners Rino and Gretta bought the property after the 2008 Ash Wednesday bush fires and have set about enjoying one of their hobbies being growing and making wine. They have progressed this hobby to have their own processing facility and now a small scale bottling unit so they can be the masters of their own work. So much for a hobby with a reasonable vineyard holding of both Shiraz and Grenache vines, a storage shed and a winery that acts as a barrel store and an overflow for their bottled wine storage.
The property had 6 acres of neglected Grenache vines and since they have had the property they have built their home and added 2 lots of Shiraz vines for a total of 6 acres of Shiraz. A 12 acre lot would be considered a full time allotment for many people. There is even a row of pine trees around the outside of their property partly to ensure there is no over spray of chemicals from the surrounding properties.
From this lot they produce between 50 and 60 tonnes of quality fruit, of which some is sold and the remainder is made into wine. At this stage their philosophy will be to make enough in the coming vintage to match what they have sold from the previous vintage.
And now their wines……..
2011Cheeky Wombat Rose
Not a lot of aromas here, even as the wine started to warm in the glass. Lots of the red fruits one would expect from Grenache. Lots of raspberries and an interesting mouthfeel that seems to be like a creamy texture. I was expecting the wine to be reasonably sweet, and I was wrong (not for the first time) as the wine was off dry. A pleasant drop that should be drunk young and cold on a summers day.
2010 Sparkling Grenache
Now I was excited – a Sparkling Red made from my favorite grape, Grenache. I will admit I have never had a sparkling Grenache before. I will admit my mouth was salivating directly before trying this wine. I was not sure about it directly as the wine was a little dumb. The carbon dioxide of the bubbles as the wine was opened masked any character of the wine. My faith was quickly restored as the glass started to show the typical red fruits from Grenache plus the earthiness that is typical of sparkling red. The palate not only showed the red fruits, but also some clean tannins (indicating good use of oak in the base wine). I think I have found another sparkling red for this Christmas.
2009 Old Vine Grenache
What interesting aromas – I got a little fairy floss and pork fat to start with and then over time the Grenache redness came through in spades. The wine also needed time to get the best from the flavors – please give the wine this time or use an aerator to move it along. in this case time provided one with a fruit profile that has red and black fruit and has hints of spices and I am so glad that the wood takes a back room view to allow this fruit to do it’s thing. At 16% alcohol the wine is not shy but there is lots of fruit here so the relatively high alcohol does not cause bitterness. I had this with a variety of Thai dishes and I thoroughly enjoyed both.
Very aromatic that needs time to open up for it’s best. Powerful dark fruit aromas with some interesting sweetness, which probably comes from American oak. There is oak and spice mix here but the aromas are dominated by fruit. Power continues in the flavor profiles and mainly fruit power. The acid and tannins are soft and interestingly only a little spice. The ripe fruit from the heat of the 2008 vintage takes over. this wine showed it’s best when it was opened and left to breathe for over an hour – do yourself a favor and give this wine time.
From the same vineyard as the above wine and so different – showing what variation different vintages can have on the final product. This wine has class and is more restrained and elegant than the 2008 version. The aromas show essence of Shiraz with some licorice oak hints. The flavors are plums seeped in chocolate, licorice, cardamon, cinnamon with a restrained oak presence. Needless to say that I like this wine!
2009 Low Preservative Shiraz
I have had a few low preservative wines before and I have not always enjoyed them. I was not sure what I was going to find with this one. I was so surprised! This wine has lots of character – more than I was expecting. Lots of dark fresh fruit aromas and quite a dark mixture of flavors. Depth of the Shiraz plum with some oak – that was the difference. Normally low or no preservative wines have no oak maturation (as wine may have problems with spoilage without this preservative). I also got some Mocha and a spice mixture. If you have issues with the preservative in red wine, but you like a full bodied red then this is one wine you should check out.