Variety: 69 % Grenache, 31 % Carignan
Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
69 % Grenache from 80+ year-old vines planted in a northerly block atop the Onkaparinga Gorge; 31 % Carignan from the adjacent MoC Chase Vineyard. All hand-picked and fermented in open vats, with 85 % whole berries and 15 % whole bunches. Long, slow ferment to build tannin complexity, followed by maturation in a mix of inert tanks and old French oak puncheons for 16 months. 13.8 % alc/vol.
'Fragrant Grenache fruit provides alluring sour cherry and spicy raspberry lift, with a serious lick of dried herbs and amaro bitters from the Carignan. A balance between red scented perfume with a core of wildness, earth, and complexity buried within. The palate is long and lithe, with a depth of fruit intensity and filed nicely back by a line of sandy tannin.' Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood, Founders and Winemakers.
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.