Ministry of Clouds Grenache 2021
Grenache delivers what Pinot promises… A celebration of the dogged stubbornness of two McLaren Vale families, who persisted with their plots of Grenache, when other implored them to turn their land to other pursuits. From very old bush vines each vineyard eighty years plus, Julian and Bernice make a contemporary Grenache with fragrance, succulence and fine boned structure (a little like their favourite Pinots!!). Viva la Grenache!
Hand harvested from a pair of old bush vine vineyards, one 83 and the other 100 years of age situated in the highest climes of Blewitt Springs and Clarendon. They love both expressions of Grenache - the spicy, fine, pinot-esque expression that hails from the rocky loams and altitude of Clarendon, and the ever so slightly darker, more structured characteristics they see from the deep sands of Blewitt Springs.
They carefully de-stemmed 80% of the fruit to retain whole berries, including the balance of whole bunches as a layer in the middle of the ferment. Ferments were started wild in traditional open fermenters, with hand plunging twice daily to wet the caps, but not so vigorous as to macerate the stalks. After 21 days on skins, each parcel was basket pressed to a mixture of old oak puncheons and inert tanks. As always maturation was undertaken on fine lees to build mid palate texture and for the reductive benefit to avoid Grenache’s predisposition to oxidation. 10 months only in large old oak to allow the blend to come together and bottled young before any meaningful oak influence can be seen.
Showing old vine intensity without heaviness, fragrant cranberry and wild cherry fruit lift, violets, earth, and garrigue herbs: the palate is pure with calming depth and intensity, but kept necessarily fresh by grainy tannins and a bright line of natural acid.
Ideal serving temperature is 16 °C, they suggest you try with your local version of the food of the many homes Grenache – the various cures of black pig from Spain, the toasted wild yeast bread and smashed tomato of the Priorat, and the smoked veal sausages of the Rhone Valley. Cool cellaring between 5 years to 8 years will be rewarded.