The Barossa isn’t exactly known for bright, airy, ‘crunchy’ reds, but Steve Crawford is looking to rewrite that narrative. This vintage primarily hails from a certified biodynamic vineyard: ‘Ahrens Vineyard’ in sandy Vine Vale, with a bit of old vine Grenache from ‘Stockwell Vineyard’ in Light Pass and the ‘Hoffman Vineyard’ in Ebenezer and a touch of Mourvèdre from the latter. 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. It started as a lighter nod to Cote du Rhône blends and has continued in providing a bit more interest than the average quaffing rhone blend. 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 quarter 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 228L and 500L French barrels. The wine aged for only 10-12 weeks, depending on the barrel where the blends are then determined. It is then racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.