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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’. ‘Where’s the Pope?’ – a pioneering response to the queen m-f of a harvest in 2020, but the Vale was spared and produced some of the most sumptuous fruit. Taras and Amber didn’t have any Adelaide Hills Syrah to play with in 2020 as it was pretty much all smoke tainted or the vineyards were destroyed so they had an idea (and they were always good ones…), why not take the Syrah from the insane ‘Green Room’ site? Amber continued this path in 2021 and 2022. The schist soils form a diametric point with the carbonically macerated, early picked Syrah to find that vortex of calamity and calmness. A little less skin contact in 2022 leaves this wine slightly less tannic (though it wasn’t that tannic to begin with) and a little more crunchy and bright.

The fruit was hand-picked in early February and fermented entirely native whole-bunch outdoors in half-ton bins. The fruit was left between a 7-10 days with a bit of hang 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 50ppm sulfur addition.


  • Grapes: 100% Syrah
  • Vineyard: The Green Room Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 26-years-old
  • Soil Type: Ironstone over shallow limestone and heavy schist
  • Viticulture: Certified organic - dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – 100% whole-cluster (carbonically macerated)
  • Skin Contact: 7-10 days
  • Aging: 5 months in seasoned French barrique
  • Alcohol: 11%
  • pH: 3.46
  • Total Acidity: 6.3 g/L
  • Total SO2: 50 ppm
  • Total Production: 358 cases
  • UPC: None

Tasting Note

“Clove and spiced blood orange basted in the elaborate flavors rustic bouillon. There is an ebb and flow of white sage, peppercorn and bay leaf, but ultimately this potion is awash with lashings of freshly picked fingerstaining dewberry, raspberry coulis, black forest cherries and suede. (yes….suede!!) keep that mind alive pussysausage.” – Taras Ochota on the 2020 vintage. It still rings true today.

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