Variety: Tempranillo, Grenache
Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
89 % Tempranillo, 11 % Grenache. The Tempranillo from three cool sites in Blewitt Springs, along with fruit from the MoC Chase Vineyard atop the Onkaparinga Gorge. The Grenache from a range of old vine blocks up to 100 years old. The Tempranillo was fermented with 18 % whole bunches, including some carbonic maceration, the balance de-stemmed but not crushed; the Grenache all destemmed. Basket pressed and matured in a mix of stainless steel, old French oak puncheons and one 5000 litre foudre for 11 months.
'A meld of 3 dry-grown tempranillo vineyards in cooler Blewitt Springs, together with the proprietary vineyard at Onkaparinga Gorge, in Seaview. 89% tempranillo (30% carbonic) with 11% old-vine grenache, fermented in old oak. As good as any tempranillo-led blend that I've had. A swirl of violet, boysenberry, clove, black olive and pepper. Juicy. Pulpy. Restrained tannins, not too firm, but assertive enough to promote the fruit and effusive joy. Lovely wine. Drink by 2025.’ 93 points, Ned Goodwin, Halliday Wine Companion, May 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.