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Filtering through the sea of top producers in McLaren Vale can be a difficult road to navigate, but if you want something lo-tech and quietly exquisite, the wines of Samuel's Gorge should be on your hit list. Mike Bennie summed up winemaker Justin McNamee's operation like this; "There’s bits ‘n’ pieces seemingly everywhere, but within the chaos is a magnificent winemaker orchestrating through minimal intervention, some of the Vale’s most exciting wines." McNamee believes that Grenache is the variety that most honestly conveys the season. This 2015 Grenache is a flyer. It's a power-packed wine but with the reins held tight. The high-toned aromatics of McLaren Vale set to a rugged and complex backdrop. Made in tiny volumes and notoriously difficult to track down; wines like this are the reason why Samuel's Gorge is one of the most loved indie producers in the Vale.
What it Tastes Like
This is a little lighter on its feet than the 2014, like a prize fighter that's just cut weight - it's lean but muscular with the classic 'pretty' signature of McLaren Vale Grenache. Red fruit, milk chocolate tannins, a wicked, decadent spiced orange finish and bright acidity. Wonderful, charismatic wine here.
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
Samuel’s Gorge is one of McLaren Vale’s best-kept secrets. There, in his quiet neck of the woods, winemaker Justin McNamee is on a mission to build “wines that are distinctly Australian with reference to the old world for texture, complexity and harmony.” They are scarcely available but highly renowned, the Shiraz and Grenache considered his fortè alongside his stellar examples of Tempranillo and Graciano. These are wines with a distinct personality and a rustic feel. A unique offering from this diverse South Australian 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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