The truly wondrous thing about wine is that speaks of where it comes from. All true wine has a local accent – something distinct and unmistakable that helps you place it in an instant. This old vine Grenache Shiraz is a wine of place and it couldn’t come from anywhere else but ‘The Vale’. The blend is something altogether more than the sum of its two parts – it is the McLaren Vale in essence. The Grenache comes from the 70+-year-old gnarly Old McDonald Vineyard and the Shiraz from Steve’s Koomilya estate. 2017 was a very cool, mild and stress-free vintage for vines, but not necessarily for Steve. Good winter and spring rains were followed by a very mild, long summer. There is really great natural acidity to this vintage with just ripe fruit accompanying it.
Both varieties were hand-harvested and co-fermented without any additions in open-top stainless-steel tanks. Around one-quarter of the fruit was kept intact and manual hand plunging was used for optimum extraction. After 10 days on the skins and stems, the lot was pressed to old French puncheons for maturation. Following seven months on the fine lees the barrels were racked to large 28hL French foudre with a small sulfur addition to finish aging. Another seven months passed and the two puncheons were blended to tank where the wine settled naturally. It was bottled without fining or filtration and with a small dose of sulfur.