Yelland & Papps Devote Old Vine Grenache 2010

This grapes for this wine are sourced from a site near Greenock that bears vines planted in the 1960s. As I taste this, I am imagining what the vineyard was like as it was being planted those 50 or so years ago; who was doing the planting, what they were wearing (essential detail), and the thought that what I’m doing right now — blogging about a wine they, in a sense, gave birth to — must have been unimaginable.

Whoever dreamed of great things for the vineyard would surely be pleased by how sympathetically its grapes have been treated here. This is a surprising wine in many respects, although I’ve long thought Yelland & Papps do Grenache especially well, so that this wine is a refined, savoury, delicate example of the varietal should not come as such a shock. But given its tendency to blow out into excess, I’m still grateful this wine has such attractive dimensions.

The nose is refreshingly savoury, even as it expresses some luscious dark berry fruit. There’s a depth and sense of layering to the aroma that encourages repeated sniffs – first some berry, then turned earth, then pointed oak. It’s neither ingratiatingly expressive nor muted; rather, the aroma expresses steadily and with confidence. The palate seems underdone at first. I thought intensity was mismatched to its other elements, but a few sips sees my sense of this wine readjusting to its dimensions. It’s actually really well proportioned, and the palate unfolds in a precise series of steps. Entry is relatively high toned, showing some florals alongside red fruit. The middle palate becomes more expansive, though never sloppy, thanks in part to a firm structure that keeps the wine focused as it moves through to an oak-driven after palate. The finish becomes quite pretty and it’s here that the wine comes together in a final flourish of notes, high to low, singing beautifully.

This is elegant and controlled, and its 14% ABV remains contained within the wine’s other elements. Excellent, adult Grenache.

Yelland & Papps
Price: $A32
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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