Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
Picpoul is an ancient variety of the Mediterranean Coast, farmed since the 1300s and famed for its lemony power and natural ability to retain acid in the sunshine! Briny and maritime in is disposition Picpoul is renowned as the perfect Oyster wine.
'A refreshingly zingy and aromatic wine, with lifted notes of lime, lemon myrtle, nashi pear, and white flowers. In the mouth this crisp and crunchy vibe continues with an intense fleshy verbena line, plus the minerality of limestone, brine and a subtle creaminess from the lees makes it mouthwatering!' Bernice and Julian.
2021 review 'All things done right: picked by hand, fermented spontaneously and left on lees for a giddy 100 days, sans filtration. Picpoul, or ‘lip stinger’ in Occitan, shows immense promise in these parts. The attraction is the immediacy of crunch, versatility at the table and subdued nature of the aromas that speak subtly of frangipani, pistachio, Mediterranean herb, mirabelle and quince, without screaming their names. Personally, I’d much rather drink this than most riesling from our shores. It is far more digestible. Drink by 2025.' 92 points, Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion, January 2022.
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.