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Frederick Stevenson

2021

‘Piñata’ Dry Red

Red Wine   |   Barossa Valley - Australia

About

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.

Stats

  • Grapes: 55% Cinsault - 21% Grenache - 16% Syrah - 8% Mourvèdre
  • Vineyard: Ahrens Vineyard (Cinsault/Syrah) – Stockwell Vineyard (Grenache) – Hoffman Vineyard (Grenache/Mourvèdre)
  • Vine Age: 12-years-old (Cinsault) – 80+years-old (Grenache) – 60-years-old (Syrah) – 25-years-old (Mourvèdre)
  • Soil Type: Sand over yellow clay (Ahrens) - Sand over loam (Stockwell) - Sandy clay (Hoffman)
  • Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic (Ahrens) - Practicing organic (Stockwell/Hoffman)
  • Fermentation: Native – open top, stainless steel (primarily destemmed with 25% of the Grenache whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 14 days (Cinsault) - 21 days (remaining ferments)
  • Aging: 2-3 months in neutral 228L and 500L French barrels
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • pH: 3.67
  • Total Acidity: 5.2 g/L
  • Total SO2: 45 ppm
  • Total Production: 799 cases

Tasting Note

The Barossa may not be known for light, smashable red wines but this is definitely that wine.  Perfumed notes of sour cherries, pomegranate, orange zest, and white mint.  The palate is medium-bodied with juicy fruit that is restrained by noticeable but light tannins.  Give this a chill and experience the magic.

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