Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
Grenache delivers what Pinot promises… A celebration of the dogged stubbornness of two McLaren Vale families, who persisted with their plots of Grenache, when other implored them to turn their land to other pursuits. From very old bush vines each vineyard eighty years plus, we make a contemporary Grenache with fragrance, succulence and fine boned structure (a little like our favourite Pinots!!).
100 % Grenache from two old bush vine vineyards, one in Blewitt Springs (83 years old) and one in Clarendon (100 years old). 80 % destemmed but not crushed, to retain whole berries, with 20 % placed as a whole-bunche layer in the middle of the ferment. Hand plunged twice daily for 21 days before basket-pressing to a mix of old oak puncheons and inert tanks for 10 months maturation on fine lees. 14.3 % alc/vol.
Showing old vine intensity without heaviness, fragrant cranberry and wild cherry fruit lift, violets, earth, and garrigue herbs: the palate is pure with calming depth and intensity, but kept necessarily fresh by grainy tannins and a bright line of natural acid.
‘Ex bush vines up to 100yo; 80% whole berries, 20% whole bunches in an open wild ferment; 21 days on skins; matured in old oak for 10 months. Superb colour, vivid and clear; the scented, spicy, flowery bouquet leads a red berry/cherry/piquant palate, savoury elements increasing overall complexity. Drink by 2032.’ 95 points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion, November 2021.
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.