Take everything you know about Barossa Grenache, then forget you know it. That is step one for really enjoying this bottle! There is an air of McLaren Vale-ness to the wine, but with more intensity of fruit (old vine Barossa) but still in a bright, crunchy style. However, this is by no means a simple wine. The fruit comes entirely from the ‘Hongell Vineyard’, an old-vine site just south of the historic Barossa region of Tanunda in Krondorf. While the vineyard is not certified, it has been farmed organically for over ten years. Steve loves the grip and density, while being light, this site gives. 2021 was a bit of a relief after the tough 2020 vintage. It was a slower, cooler ripening season, and flowering was affected by hot weather, so yields were down. Being a cooler year, there is more fragrance on the nose and palate, but the darker, rich soils always carry a good bit of palate weight.
The fruit was hand-harvested and underwent an overnight cold soak. One-third of the fruit was left intact and the remaining de-stemmed bunches were placed over the whole bunches in the tank. Fermentation kicked off in less than a day with frequent, light, hand plunging being implemented. It was a slow and steady ferment up to about 28 degrees and then the tank was cooled down to avoid too much stem extraction later on. After three weeks, the wine was pressed off the skins and stems and was sent to old 500L French puncheons. It aged without any additions for nine months in barrel and then spent another month in tank before being bottled without fining or filtration and just a small sulfur addition.