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About The Wine
There are few wineries in Australia with as clear a vision as Yangarra.
Their commitment to producing world class, Australian grown, Rhone style wines is second to none. Combine that with a keen eye for exceptional terroir and the formidable winemaking skills of Peter Fraser and you are looking at one of the most exciting wine ventures in the country.
Their High Sands Grenache is a wine to behold.
The industry hubbub around this wine is palpable. It has been compared to the great Grenaches of Chateauneuf du Pape, iconic wines like Rayas and Beaucastel, just to be mentioned in the same discussion is nothing short of incredible for an Aussie wine.
Gary Walsh gave it 96 points. And rightfully so, Peter thinks this is better than the previous vintage and we agree.
This release of the High Sands marks another step forward in the assertion of truly great Australian wines on the world stage.
If you want to see the very best Grenache that Australia has to offer, the High Sands is simply remarkable and a drinking experience that will stay with you for many years to come.
What It Tastes Like
“Very earthy, peppery and spicy, boot polish, Old Jamaica chocolate, dried roses, raspberry, cherries, dried mint – so much going on! Medium bodied, deeply fruited, tannic, but in a very silky way (likely that will make sense should you taste it). Plush raspberry flavour, meat and spices, fresh acidity, distinct ‘mineral’ feel. Long and almost blackcurranty in the aftertaste, with a trail of fine silty tannin. A vin de garde; feels unevolved and painfully young at present. Challenging. I thought about it. And thought some more. Drank some. Then drank some more. And in the end? A conclusion and a score.” - Gary Walsh
97 points. “From the highest section of the vineyard planted ?46 on the deepest sand, hand-picked, 50% whole berries, cold soak, open-fermented, wild yeast, matured in used French oak for 12 months. This is in another league altogether. There is total fusion between the fruit and tannins first up, oak likewise subsumed by the fruit. There is a bright display of a blaze of red fruits, so vivid the structural components are relegated to the back of the stage, where they will remain for the life of the wine.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
96 points. “Very earthy, peppery and spicy, boot polish, Old Jamaica chocolate, dried roses, raspberry, cherries, dried mint – so much going on! Medium bodied, deeply fruited, tannic, but in a very silky way (likely that will make sense should you taste it). Plush raspberry flavour, meat and spices, fresh acidity, distinct ‘mineral’ feel. Long and almost blackcurranty in the aftertaste, with a trail of fine silty tannin. A vin de garde; feels unevolved and painfully young at present. Challenging. I thought about it. And thought some more. Drank some. Then drank some more. And in the end? A conclusion and a score.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
High Sands is our Grail. It captures the essence of our prized old vines. For us, High Sands means intense, brilliant, taut yet harmonious, serene, wholesome and complex.
TASTING NOTE “Decant the High Sands and let it breathe. It walks a tightrope of power and finesse. Aromas of very concentrated, spiced dark fruits appear alongside pretty florals, which become more apparent the longer the wine is open. The palate is rich and plush, with its trademark tight line of tannin and acidity. We build this wine to reward patience in the cellar.” - Peter Fraser, winemaker.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% Grenache
REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
WINEMAKING: Wild yeast ferment, 12 months maturation in old 1/2 year old French oak, no fining just filtration.
VINEYARD AND WINEMAKING
VINEYARD INFORMATION High Sands is grown on the highest point of our grey ancient sandy dunes. The gnarly old bush vines were planted by Frederick Arthur Smart in 1946 when land grants were given to soldiers returning from World War II. The old strugglers are vase shaped and thinned to ten inches from the ground to create individual microclimates and better air flow within the canopy. High Sands is our Grail; it captures the essence of our prized old vines. For us, High Sands means intense, brilliant, taut yet harmonious, serene, wholesome and complex.
REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
VINE AGE: 70 years
ELEVATION: 210m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
WINEMAKING INFORMATION We select vines on the top of the ridge of 6 blocks of Grenache on the very top of the estate. There is a circle of the lowest vigour vines in Block 25, and a similar section in Block 31, both adjacent to Schuller Road. Winemaking techniques for the High Sands ensure the true expression of the blocks shine through: open fermenters, natural yeasts, and a careful regime of plunging, rack and returns. We drain off the wine to barrel and keep it on yeast lees for at least 12 months. It is stored in barrel for 18-24 months, only 1 and 2 year old French oak is used. We do not use any pressings in the blend. Two Individual barrels were chosen that displayed the desired minerality of the deep sand, more intense fruit expression and more gritty tannin structure than our estate Grenache.
TA: 7.9 g/L
PRODUCTION: 271 cases
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: N/A
Yangarra Estate is one of a small group of powerhouse wineries to raise its head from the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. Their wines are made entirely from an amazing old bush vine single vineyard, with the 2016 Halliday Winemaker of the Year, Peter Fraser, pulling the reins as winemaker. They are a certified biodynamic wine producer, and have even been named International Winery of the Year, twice!
They specialise in varieties found in the Rhone Valley. For reds, Grenache is their flag bearer, with Shiraz and Mourvedre not far behind. The same applies to whites, the Roussanne expressions from Fraser’s experimentation with ceramic eggs are some of the most interesting in the country. His takes on Viognier are as good as any in the land. In time, each of the 13 Rhone varieties will be grown on the Yangarra block. A premium benchmark for the Blewitt Springs sub-region.
The South Australian region of McLaren Vale is famous for its powerful red wines. Shiraz and Grenache have thrived for years in the Vale’s sandy soils. Nowadays, the region’s varietal diversity has majorly increased, the coastal location and warm climate proving perfect for a new wave of varieties from Italy, Spain and Portugal. The success of varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, and Fiano has transformed McLaren Vale into one of the country’s most vibrant wine scenes. It’s where tradition meets innovation and it is producing some of the Australia’s finest wines.
Grenache is the great sleeping giant of Australian red wine. We are the custodians of the oldest producing Grenache vines in the world, some ancient vineyards planted as far back as the 1850’s. Modern Australian Grenache is a different beast to the wines of yesteryear, they are more youthful and vibrant, showing bright red fruit characters, silky tannins and a delicious array of spices. With the viticultural resources we have at our disposal in this country, Australia can be one of the world’s leading producers of this variety, making wines that easily rival the best of Europe.
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