At the end of our old vine garden path there is a historic Menagerie of three grape varieties, adjoining blocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro at Gomersal in the Barossa. After hand-picking selected bunches of our Menagerie field blend in mid March our winemaker Elena Brooks let the whole bunches ferment together in open top fermenters with ambient or other people's yeasts. The wine was hand plunged for 14 days, before basket pressing into old French Oak barriques, to then mature for a further 12 months in the same oak, before bottling without fining or filtration to capture the essence of our vinous Menagerie of the Barossa.
This vintage of our Menagerie of the Barossa has a high level of natural acidity, and is bone dry, it is m̩énage a trois that makes wine truly of its time and place, a wish come true and a looking glass, if you will, and although ready to drink immediately it will also reward cellaring and decanting.
Deep red with an earthy core and a violet rim edge, hinting at its youth and its life.
Bright cherry and Redskin Lollie aromatics - all courtesy of the 80% grenache in this giving blend. The aromatics are well-heightened, however, by some freshly ground black and pink pepper coming from the shiraz component.
This already integrated red wine starts with full flavours of sour cherry. The palate then stretched luxuriously out with the welcoming sweetness of the grenache fruit tempered by acidity - a combination of textures and tension that Barossa grenache does so effortlessly and well. Shiraz throws in some blackberry pertness and some balsamic edge. The tannins are rounded, earthy and fine; but also textured and poised, bringing symmetry to voluptuousness and voluptuousness to symmetry.
To the wine and food devotee this red blend offers a fabulous challenge: does one play on it’s power and heft, or do you think of those fruit flavours so well counter-balanced by acid and tannin? Is it charcuterie and bread and ratatouille; or is it a rotisserie leg of goat with too many fresh herbs? A spicy chargrilled sausage this wine would happily relax with; yet a tagine with the strident flavours of North Africa would not bother it.
The nose is a summer pudding of lifted red fruits, berries and a hit of cinnamon and Asian spice. Wild cherries, Damson plums, mulberries and an impressive structure balanced by spicy oak. The palate is opulent; intense red berries balanced by soft velvety tannins and supple oak with great balance from the acid reknown in Barossa Grenache.
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