Dense blue fruits, violets, rum and raisin chocolate on the nose. Full, mouth coating tannins, with a lively, fresh and long finish. A complex wine which will age well; Joch advises decanting. Cellar for up to 10 years if you can.
We had good spring rains but lower summer rainfall than we usually receive in McLaren Vale. As a result of this dry growing period, disease pressure was low (no mildews!) although we had a couple of heat spikes in late January and some hot days in February which resulted in reduced crops compared to 2018 (down by up to 30% depending on variety). We started picking the reds started at the beginning of March and had largely finished picking them all by the end of the month. Quality is pretty good all round.
Best of Vintage is as the name suggests, the very best (red) wine from the vintage, which gets to spend extra time in the best oak barrels. The process begins when Joch tastes every barrel of current red wine when it is time to start bottling them all. Every barrel is tasted and assessed.
Any outstanding barrels are set aside for Best of Vintage. This year, the anchor variety is Petit Verdot (70%) with Shiraz making up the balance (there is a smidge of Malbec in there too). This used to be grown on the hill outside cellar door, however following the 2019 vintage Joch cut off the PV and grafted it to Shiraz, so this wine represents the variety’s swansong! Get it while you still can!
The Best of Vintage components are open fermented on their skins in small 2 tonne vessels, are pumped over twice daily (to extract colour flavour and tannin from the grapes and skins) and finish ferment in fine oak barrels (French oak generally). Maturatation continues in barrel. The Best of Vintage wine spends generally about 18 months in oak before blending and bottling.
The Real Wine Review
Dark, youthful and bright in the glass. Aromas of mulberry, black cherry, dried herbs, spice, pot-pourri and cedar. Rich, dark and layered on the palate. Black cherry, satsuma plum, meaty, cranberry, spice and cedar. Plenty of grippy and textured tannin, bright, crunchy acidity and savoury mouth-feel. A powerful wine with balance, poise, drinkability and a long future.
13 November 2021
Vineyards: Bradens and Chanticleer
Picking Date: 8th April 2019
Bottling Date: 2nd July 2020