Ochota’s wines have an air of rebellion about them – constantly challenging the status quo. The wines have combined a hands-off winemaking congruent to meticulous attention to detail, embracing a true ‘less-is-more’ approach. This has resulted in many of South Australia’s most interesting, and game changing, wines of the past decade plus. The Fugazi Grenache is a wine that has always been ahead of its time. It set the tone for a more elegant, pure-fruited, medium-bodied style of McLaren Vale Grenache which has become the de facto style. The vineyard was named from a quirk – the post-hardcore punk band Fugazi was playing on Taras and Amber’s car stereo as they arrived at the vineyard, which sits on a rise between the Onkaparinga River Gorge and Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. The organically dry-farmed, bushvines were planted in 1947 on rocky ironstone infused with a gravelly, red clay.
The small bunches were hand-picked in early March and brought back to the shed where they underwent a gentle cold soak for one night. The fruit was taken outdoors, 50% whole-cluster and 50% hand-destemmed, to start spontaneous fermentation in six small, plastic fermenters. The fruit was carefully hand-plunged and spent between 10-30 days on skins depending upon the lot. The ferments were basket pressed to neutral French barriques with sporadic battonage implemented for the first 2 months, getting a bit of lees contact adding a sight touch of a reductive note to the notoriously oxidative Grenache. After six months of aging the wine was racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration and only minimal SO2 added.