Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
100 % Shiraz from a dry-grown Blewitt Springs vineyard planted in 1941 with roots deep in the maslin sand laid over ironstone. Hand-picked and destemmed but not crushed to retain 100 % whole-berries. Cold-soaked for two days, open-fermented, plunged daily and then basket-pressed to a mix of old and new French oak puncheons for 18 months maturation. 14.5 % alc/vol.
'Hand-picked, destemmed, open-fermented, matured in used French hogsheads for 12 months. Deep crimson-purple; this is a magisterial wine, totally centred on black fruits, blackberry to the fore, dark cherry and licorice in support. It is one of those wines that you absolutely know will be very long lived. Drink by 2048.' 96 points and Red Star for Value, James Halliday, August 2020.
'A surprisingly cool fruited, but dense and bright expression of Blewitt Springs Shiraz. Gently complex, with spicy blue and black berries, layers of nutmeg, violets, and a gentle creamy nuttiness from French oak. On the palate, it exhibits a finely wrought core of dark berried fruit, framed by persistent sandy tannins, and kept taut by a line of natural acidity.' Winemaker's Note.
After almost three decades shared experience in the wine industry, Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood decided to have a crack at their own (ad)venture. For them, Ministry of Clouds represents the relinquishing of past security and structure for the beguiling freedom and independence inherent in this, their own voice.
They seek fruit from distinguished vineyard sites mostly in McLaren Vale, but also in the Clare Valley for a crystalline expression of Riesling and across the Bass Strait for a flinty and somewhat wild expression of a Tasmanian Chardonnay. Their reds revel in Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro and Tempranillo fruit from a variety of mature vineyard sites through McLaren Vale, some up to 90 years of age.
Ministry of Clouds produce classic wines that show careful attention to detail, wines that speak of the land, that reveal the essence of the season; wines with perfect ripeness yet showing some tension, restraint and poise complete with crunchy texture, delicate balance and a somewhat modest built. They are wines that beg to be shared on a convivial table consumed with various foods, flavours and textures.