Saturday, March 3, 2012

2009 Yelland & Papps Divine Grenache (Barossa Valley)

I showed this to a mate who likes his wine but is not especially knowledgeable and generally drinks sub $20 wine (probably represents the typical wine consumer when you think about it). Upon trying a glass of this, he declared that it was the best wine he had ever had (he wasn’t aware of the price when he made that comment). A few nights later I showed him the 2010 Cirillo Vincent Grenache, a far cheaper yet also very good Grenache, which he also really enjoyed. Could well-made Grenache become a more popular drink with the punters? From a taste and drinkability perspective I don’t see why not. It’s more an image/perception issue at present (or lack thereof) that arguably holds grenache back from being more broadly consumed.

I love the intent and detail behind this wine. Hand sorted fruit off a vineyard in the Greenock sub-region that was planted in the 1880's. The fruit was cropped at 1.0 tonnes per acre. For the winemaking I’ll quote the winery

Fermented on skins in an open fermenter for 13 days and then gently basket pressed, this small parcel of wine was then transferred to 10 % new and 90% old French(100%) fine grain hogsheads for 24 months maturation. Once matured the wine was bottled unfiltered and then spent 12 months maturing in bottle.

It is an expensive wine, but the above provides context and to my mind, justification for that cost.

Before the actual tasting note, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to drink this wine, or any Grenache, or indeed most red wine at wine “room temperature”, which is to say 16-18 degrees, and not Australian summer room temperature. It made a marked difference with this wine, and has done so with many wines I have looked at (pop your red wine in the fridge for 20-30 minutes in the middle of summer).

Having tasted this over a few days the thing that stayed with me was this wine’s texture. It combines the juicy joy that is grenache, with a serious structure, and a lovely earthy texture that marks it out from many of its peers. Berry fruit, spice, and a hint of creamy oak are in the mix, but in some ways the wine is unsurprisingly a bit closed at present. There’s a latent complexity here though, and given a few more years in the cellar i think this wine will really sing. A nice persistance of flavour finishes the wine off nicely. 4 Stars +


ABV: 14.9%
RRP: $75
Closure: Screwcap


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