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Ochota Barrels


‘Where’s the Pope?’

Syrah   |   McLaren Vale - Australia


‘Where’s the Pope?’ – a pioneering thrash/hardcore band from ‘Radelaide’. Also, a pioneering response to the queen m-f of a harvest in 2020 in which Taras and Amber didn’t have any Adelaide Hills Syrah to play with, as it was pretty much all smoke tainted or the vineyards were destroyed.  They had an idea (and they were always good ones…): why not take the Syrah from the insane ‘Green Room’ site? The idea took shape, and Amber has continued this trend ever since. The schist soils form a diametric point with the partial carbonically macerated, early picked Syrah to find that vortex of calamity and calmness. Quite a bit of whole cluster forms this wine as quality of fruit and conditions were exceptional in 2023.

The fruit was hand-picked in early February and fermented spontaneously with a majority of whole-bunches outdoors in half-ton bins. The fruit was left for about 10 days with a bit of hand plunging in the latter days.  The lots were then basket-pressed to old French barriques with the gross lees. The wine matured for five months then the barrels were gravity fed to tank and left to settle overnight. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small sulfur addition.


  • Grapes: 100% Syrah
  • Vineyard: Grancari Vineyard (Onkaparinga Hills)
  • Vine Age: 27-years-old
  • Soil Type: Ironstone over shallow limestone and heavy schist
  • Viticulture: Certified organic - dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – open-top picking bins with majority whole-cluster
  • Skin Contact: 10 days
  • Aging: 5 months in seasoned French barrique
  • Alcohol: 12.7%
  • pH: 3.72
  • Total Acidity: 4.8 g/L
  • Total SO2: 61 ppm
  • Total Production: 505 cases
  • UPC: None

Tasting Note

This Syrah is light in alcohol yet rich in flavor, with a slight reduction that blows off and leaves behind dark fruit and olive tapenade. The tannins are gentle, and the motif more savory than fruity before a svelte finish.

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