Here’s a little ripper of a playful, breezy Grenache that flirts across the palate and is a prime example of a ‘new’ Grenache style emanating from the Barossa Valley.
It hails from the Schiller vineyard 1960s plantings of Grenache on the edge of Krondorf on the undulating drive from Tanunda to Rowland Flat. Hand-harvested, wild yeast ferments, gently hand-plunged a couple of times a day, pressed off to old, seasoned puncheons and hogshead barrels for 10 months before bottling. It is treated gently in the cellar and repays this kindness in spades in the glass.
The 60 per cent whole bunches in the ferment open the wine up and let a light breeze in. It doesn’t smell overly bunchy on the nose; all red berry and plum fruits dotted with exotic spice and floral flourishes. It’s on the palate where the bunches do their funky thing.
That red-fruited, blossom fragrant fruit transposes neatly over into the mouth and the wine’s clarity and weight is bang on the money. It is underscored with Asian spice and jasmine notes, has the loveliest cascade of ripe, super-fine gypsum-like tannins that gently tug at the roof of the mouth and fine lacy acidity provides velocity and line. There is an alluring struck flint twist on the finish that I love too.
The French call these wines ‘vin de soif’. In this neck of the woods, we call them smashable.
RILEY HARRISON WINES 2016 Fleur De La Lune Grenache