Country, Region: South Australia, Clare Valley
Hand harvested in the cool of the night 50% of the fruit is sourced from high altitude rocky soils in the Eastern Hills of Penwortham. The berries are tiny and intense, ripening late in the season. The other component comes from a more fertile and generous Watervale vineyard to give more weight and flavour. The fruit is gently crushed and destemmed before a gentle pressing to a miserly 4.8 hl/t.
2020 review 'Despite the searing dryness of this mid-weight wine, the extract and compelling vinosity are winning. Low yields, evidently. The extract absorbs the tensile acidity, making for a compact juiciness. Austere in its youth, but far from shrill. Pithy lime, quince, anise, spa salts and pink grapefruit. Stony. Pumice-like. Thirst-slaking and long. Drink by 2032.' 95 points and Red Star for Value, Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion, March 2021.
'A deliberately delicate and crystalline expression of Clare Valley Riesling, exhibiting lifted floral notes, kaffir lime, freshly squeezed lemon juice, grapefruit peel, bath salts, and underlying talc. Classic citrus notes are complimented by the mouth-watering chalky and mineral texture on the palate, finishing with a fine and taut acid line.' 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.