The Barossa isn’t exactly known for bright, airy, ‘crunchy’ reds, but Steve Crawford is looking to rewrite that narrative. The wine is meant for immediate pleasure – kind of a business card or brochure in what can be expected for the other Barossa Releases of the year. Year after year the blend changes a little due to the vintage conditions. This vintage saw a slight increase in Grenache, but still has Cinsault at the front. 2022 was a wetter winter with a mild & long growing season; the bulk of the grapes were picked mid-March when nights were cool and days were moderate and sunny. As Cinsault gets more established in the vineyard it can play a more leading hand – lower alcohol, pomegranate like acidity, powdery / fine tannins. Grenache provides a bit of pallet volume, softness and sweeter notes on the nose. Syrah a bit of pepper and tannin with the Mourvèdre comes a little herbal / more complex notes. Piñata – smash it!
The fruit was all hand-picked and primarily destemmed (about a third of the Grenache was fermented whole-cluster). The wine fermented separately in open-top fermenters without any additions and once dry was gently pressed, with only the free run juice being sent to a mixture of neutral 228L and 500L French barrels. The wine aged for only 2-3 months and then went to stainless steel for another 6 weeks to settle out prior to bottling (no fining or filtering). It was bottled with just a splash of sulfur.