Even as avid fans of this wine, we think it has really hit its straps in recent vintages. When you know the story behind the wine, the sublime quality starts to make sense; it's grown in a tiny, old-vine two-acre parcel a stone's throw from the iconic Wendouree vineyard and takes its muse from Emmanuel Reynaud's legendary Château Rayas.
Sourced from the Estate's two-acre (0.8-hectare) Springvale block of vines, planted in 1942, where the very old, desiccated grey loams and maturity of the vines means yields are naturally low. As for the winemaking specs, Col notes, 50 days on skins, fermented indigenously in closed concrete tank. Pressed/ settled for several days and racked to barrel for malo (neutral French barrique). Racked once post malo and then returned to oak, bottled after 10 months.
"Grenache and the Clare Valley may not be the easiest of bedfellows for finer wine, but there's a score in the positive ledger with wines like this. Sure, the region can deliver some generous grenache wines of easy drinking and broad brushstroke feel, but this is at another level of finesse. It spends 50 days on skins, tannin is an import, and the oak maturing is done in neutral barrels. From a single block of 80-year-old vines.
This is seriously good. Pinot lovers will like the lithe frame of the wine, nebbiolo fanciers will go for the tannin here. It's pungent in cranberry, rose water, raspberry jelly and a flourish of briar/dried herbs. Just under medium weight, the wine pools in the palate with clear, bright berry-soft jammy fruit flavours, ribbons of al dente tannins, amaro-like acidity. Long, detailed, delicious.
A superb example of grenache at the apex. Wonderful drinking." 95 points, Gary Walsh, winefront.com.au
"Made from Adelina's 80-year-old, dry-grown vines, this is a fantastic example of the new wave of seriously fine Grenache emerging from South Australia at the moment. Initially the wine is tightly woven and is redolent of undergrowth, like a bramble hedge, but after a while it opens up to reveal a cloud of perfumed red berries, some fine, if firm, sandy tannins, and Pinot-like complexity." Max Allen, jancisrobinson.com