Ministry of Clouds Shiraz 2021
Sand & Stones may break my bones, but geology will never hurt me… Born of one of the most ancient and geologically diverse wine regions in the world, McLaren Vale, this wine is made from Australia’s most ubiquitous grape – Shiraz. With the aim that this Shiraz reflects our view of the region, we combine fruit from 2 Blewitt Springs deep sandy vineyards, and a younger more structured and fragrant parcel from the shallow old bedrock of our own Onkaparinga Rocks vineyard in the hope of a more modern, slender and youthful expression.
2021 was a relatively cool vintage which allowed gradual flavour development and incidentally the longest period between flowering and picking since the famed 2002 vintage. Bernice and Julian combined four separate picks from their own Onkaparinga Rocks vineyard, and two sandy dry grown Blewitt Springs sites. Approximately 27% whole bunches were retained in the total blend, the rest gently destemmed to preserve whole berries for balance. All the ferments were wild, caps were wet twice daily to assess flavour and colour extraction. Maceration on skins was extended up to 6 weeks for some parcels to build complexity and tannin line. After a gentle basket press, the wine was matured in a mixture of new and old French oak foudres, the smallest being 3500 litre, and a selection of 500 litre puncheons.
An exercise in slender power, bringing early picked McLaren Vale Shiraz characters exhibited by cool blue and red fruit with layers of coal dust and earth to entice, supported by a gentle oak creaminess, which progresses to the palate exhibiting a deep fruit weight kept bright, nervy, and fleshy and filed down nicely by a fine and mineral tannin line.
Ideal serving temperature is 16 °C… God forbid a Shiraz that won’t dominate all food placed before it. Try with spicy Catalan Fish Stew with grilled rye and aioli. Cool cellaring between 5 years to 8 years will be rewarded.