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The Wines

90-100% Grenache (late 1970s-late 1990s), 0-10% Syrah, 0-3% Cinsault, from notably clay, some limestone soils, 75% destemmed, 12-15 day vinification, daily pumping overs, 25% vinified by maceration carbonique, concrete vat raised 5-6 months, pumping overs, unfined, unfiltered, 1 gm/hl sulphur only at bottling, organic, biodynamic wine, “drink with salads, crudités, grills, lamb”, 18-20,000 b

2018

bright red robe; the bouquet has a pinpoint black fruits air, is fresh, not especially open as yet, gives a trim aroma of blackberry. The palate involves you well, is juicy and free, comes with perfumed, violet touches. This is dainty and joli wine, very good w.o.w. appeal here. The tannins are fine, light touch. 50% whole bunch. Bottling end April 2019. To 2021 Feb 2019

2017 ()

(vat, bottling April 2018) bright red robe. Red cherries come with a lucid air in a stylish, young nose that leans towards Gamay. This is lovely, aromatic, en finesse Grenache. It holds mild gummy tannins. This is always a winner, is admired by the McLaren Vale team because of that finesse. The fruit has quiet concentration, especially mid-late palate. To 2022 Feb 2018

2015 ()

dark red. A mild air of raspberry leads the nose, allied to light flower scents, with also some nutshells that I associate with vins naturels (tasted blind). The palate also presents raspberry fruit with a low-key spice presence, some cloves in the flavour. It’s a relaxed style of wine, with an implication of power through it. It builds a ball of extra depth of red fruit as it finishes, which impresses me. This has a quiet intricacy, is a Thinker’s wine. Pay attention, you at the back! 14°. 18,000 b. 90% Gren, 10% Syr. €6.20. To 2019  June 2016

2012 ()

dark, thorough robe. The bouquet is wide, reveals light grilled, pork notions with a reserved layer of wild blackberry that has liqueur, tar and floral subtleties. The palate emerges as a round, full ball of red berry flavour threaded with a criss-cross of speckly, more mineral tannins. Licorice, a coulis of black fruit and violet gather in a full close, the gras showing there with attendant tannins. This is moving only slowly - a slow-burn development in sight. The wait will bring greater variety. From late 2014. 14°. 5.85 export. 2020-21  Oct 2013

2011

rather dark red. The nose appeals – here come flowers, tender scents, small black berries – this is elegant, airborne but also gives an air of small black berries and prune beyond them, licorice. This is a highly expressive and nuanced bouquet. The palate grips tightly on the start, all a rolling elegance, with juicy spots and yum yum as it goes. Very, very clear. A most attractive wine with lovely fruit and charming rose hip fluency. It drinks as well as it did when younger, with extra flair taken on. On Day 3: very floral, scented, aromatic. Classic in its ability to improve with air. 14.5°. 2017-18  Oct 2013  Previously March 2012 ***(*) medium+ red; appealing, inviting berry air – a rounded aroma of red berries. Hints of Asian spice and flowers also. The palate carries crunchy style red fruit with some tar, tannin kick – this has a good, free texture, good grain and clarity. Its drinkability is as good as ever. Get on and go, w.o.w. wine; I like the extra depth at the end, which gives it a “safe landing”. 14°. Bottled 2 weeks ago. To 2016. March 2012

2009 ()

has a most inviting red robe, deep red with purple tints. Ace bouquet here – explosive blackberry fruit, the joys of fresh fruit, has a late tighter trail, a little “serious” tannic side. After 1 hour, the bouquet reflects soaked cherries. The palate continues with an easy going fruit which is pure and seasoned with pepper, is fresh and enjoyable, w.o.w. wine, one with a seamless coating to caress the palate. Has agreeable, fine mineral tints near the end, a change of gear, where it gives access to the terroir. A wine in the here and now. Delightful. 14°. To 2013. June 2010

2008 ()

purple, violet, attractive robe. Direct, notably pure nose with freshness in it, combines licorice, gentle garrigue, herb, spice airs. Supple, well-directed palate – this has a lovely accessibility, and correct Grenache sweetness in the final stages. A loose-limbed wine that lacks a little depth, but flows gracefully. Has a sweet-natured ending, all in roundness. Very much a child of recent fermentation, gives that beauty without the need for make-up, is w.o.w. wine. Tasted with Chester Osborn of d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale: “spice, bath salt lift in the nose, and low tannins, like a Cinsault,” and Drew Noon of Noon Estate, McLaren Vale: “has a head in the fermenting vat nose.” To 2011. Oct 2009, McLaren Vale 12-14,000 b this year – “we had a lot of mildew, rain during the harvest, grey rot, ending up at under 15 hl/ha,” Maxime-François Aubéry-Laurent.