Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
Take a single dry grown Blewitt Springs vineyard planted in 1960 with roots deep in the Maslin Sand laid over Ironstone. Planted facing east to capture the cool morning sun, this fruit was hand harvested and 15% whole bunch retained, with the balance gently de-stemmed for a whole berry ferment, cold soaked for 2 days, before the ferment kicking off in a traditional open 2 tonne vat. It was then hand plunged daily to ensure appropriate colour and flavour extraction, and then gently basket pressed to a mixture of one and two year old French oak puncheons for 12 months maturation.
'A blue fruited, dense, but aromatic and generously fragrant expression of Blewitt Springs Shiraz. Gently complex, showing bright cherry fruit, raspberries and cranberries, layers of nutmeg, violets, and a supporting foundation of spicy French oak. On the palate, it exhibits a finely wrought core of intense 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.