Ministry of Clouds Grenache 2017
South Australia, Australia
“McLaren Vale is our heartland”, and it’s where Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood bought their 11 hectare vineyard atop the Onkaparinga Gorge. Between them they have thirty-five years of experience in wine & hospitality, and they have developed a knack for tracking down the very best parcels of fruit they can lay their hands on. Fruit is sourced from around the country: close to home in McLaren Vale or Clare Valley and as far afield as Tasmania. Bernice and Julian created Ministry of Clouds in 2013, and in such a short space of time their beautifully poised, elegant wines have won a legion of fans.
Their Grenache is hand harvested from a pair of vineyards 81 and 98 years of age in the higher parts of Blewitt Springs and Clarendon. Planted in deep Aeolian sand, these sites express a spicy, more modestly built, and slender expression of McLaren Vale Grenache. Ferments were started wild in traditional open-fermenters, with hand plunging twice daily to wet the caps, but not so vigorous as to macerate the stalks. After 13 days on skins, each parcel was basket pressed to a mixture of old oak puncheons and a 1,000-litre foudre. Maturation on fine lees to build mid palate texture and for the reductive benefit to avoid Grenache’s predisposition to oxidation. Eleven months only in large old oak to allow the blend to come together and bottled young before any meaningful oak influence can be seen.
Entwined within a complex deep core of red and purple fruit aromas, violets, earth and herb tinged; the palate is pure with old-vine flesh, calming depth and purity, but kept necessarily fresh by grainy tannins and a bright line of natural acid.