This has long been one of the Barossa’s ridiculous bargains: $25 buys you a Grenache made from estate vines that are about a hundred years old, by a winery that has long cultivated a slightly quirky view of how the region’s key varieties are best expressed.
In this case, there’s a scale and mid-palate sweetness that might challenge some drinkers, but for those who get the style, there’s a lot of pleasure here. It opens sweet and not-quite-confected with an expressive nose of red fruit and spice. This definitely falls on the side of Grenache as variety of approachable fruit and generosity, showing little of the extraction and density (not to mention oak) some makers strive for. In the mouth, quite a seamless palate structure that delivers clean, bright fruit onto the mid-palate, all the while framing it in quite delicious tannin and well balanced acid. With air, the flavour profile loses some of its initial boisterousness and becomes altogether more interesting, fruit stepping back into a network of other more savoury flavours like some snapped twig and a just a hint of spiced oak.
It does swell a bit with alcohol, and the wine’s character isn’t going to satisfy drinkers who simply must have Shiraz, but I feel this wine is an old fashioned one in the best sense. If you were wondering where Australia’s “Burgundies” went, look no further.