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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 2014 High Sands Grenache is a wine to behold. 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. This release of the High Sands marks another step forward in the assertion of truly great Australian wines on the world stage. Gary Walsh recently dubbed it an "Incredibly good wine" in his stellar 96+ point review, placing it firmly in the top echelon of Australian wine of any style. 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
Deeper, darker, more earthy than the Ovitelli. Black cherry and chary oak. Boot polish, deep pools of fruit, some chocolate bullets and licorice. It rolls long with a latent, easy power. Richness of fruit and a inscrutable structure. First class.
97 points "Fruit off Block 31 from the highest section - 210m and the deepest sand for the ?46 planted bush vines. 50% whole berries, wild yeast and on lees in used French oak for 1 year. No need for winemaking accoutrements - a pure expression of that discrete spot. Perfectly modulated, the tannins enmeshed with the fruit from whence they came, excellent fruit yet the most savoury and earthy toned and deepest of the three Grenaches." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 96+ points "Beautiful fragrance here – fresh field roses, raspberry, aniseed and dried mint, almost a chocolate thing going on too. Medium bodied, gentle sweep of sweet fine grained tannin, plump red berries lend succulence, but it’s not confected or gooey in any sense. Dusty and spicy, great length of flavour, with earthy tannin grounding it and pushing it long. Incredibly good wine. Hard to choose between the 2013 and 2014. The former with maybe more length and impact, the latter all grace and charm. 96+ points, though could even twist my arm to 97." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
VINEYARD INFORMATION We have six blocks of old Grenache, and Block 31 (1.7 Ha) at the top of the ridge has the deepest sand, the lowest vigour and yield. It consequently always stands out as our pinnacle Grenache block. The old strugglers are dry grown, bush vine or vase-shaped and thinned to ten inches from the ground to create individual microclimates and better air flow and light within the canopy. The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption. REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale VINE AGE: 70 years ELEVATION: 210m above sea level SOIL TYPE: Weathered sands VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane WINEMAKING INFORMATION The fruit was hand-picked, 100% de-stemmed and mechanically berry-sorted, with only 50% of that crushed. 5 day cold soak at approximately 10 degrees. The wild fermentation is encouraged as the tank is warmed to approximately 20 degrees. We only plunge during the fermentation. No pressings are used. We drain off the wine to barrel and keep it on yeast lees for the entire 10 months of maturation, using only our best 1 and 2 year-old French oak. Individual barrels are chosen that display the pedigree of the deep sand, with intense fragrance juxtaposed with intense fruit expression and gritty long tannin structure. Not Fined. Bottled February 2015. Certified Biodynamic. ALCOHOL: 14.5% TA: 6.5 g/L pH: 3.36 PRODUCTION: 3336 bottles
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2035
About the Producer
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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