Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
Sourced from 2 McLaren Vale vineyards, one north facing bush vine vineyard, with richness and intensity, and the other a cooler Blewitt Springs site giving spice, lift and elegance. Both sites are hand picked and gently de-stemmed for a whole berry ferment in open vats. Plunged daily before basket pressing to old French oak barriques for 11 months elevage.
’Shy and brooding, this is a bright but deep expression of Mataro. A complex nose of cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, fennel seeds, Provencal herbs, and the whole butcher’s shop… On the palate, a compact core of blue fruits subtly supported by creamy oak, and carried by a ferruginous driving tannin structure, which carries the fruit through the mouth.’
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.