Variety: Tempranillo, Grenache
Country, Region: South Australia, McLaren Vale
84 % Tempranillo, 16 % Grenache. Based upon four vineyards of Tempranillo, from cool sites in Blewitt Springs and McLaren Foothills and our own estate vineyard atop the Onkaparinga Ridge. We retained 15% wholebunch, including a portion which we carbonic macerated, and then de-stemmed the balance to retain whole berries for traditional open ferment. With a desire to preserve freshness and vibrancy and to build a wider aromatic profile on the Tempranillo, it was left to the Grenache component to provide mid palate intensity. Old vine Grenache from a range of blocks up to a 100 years of age were destemmed and fermented in large open vats, with daily pump overs. After basket pressing the wine was matured in a mixture of stainless steel, old French oak puncheons, and a large 5000 litre old oak foudre for 10 months maturation before bottling …
This wine combines bright notes of pomegranate, sarsaparilla, violets and nutmeg typical of dry grown Tempranillo, with the perfume and succulence of old vine Grenache. This medium bodied wine is pretty, but deeply flavoured, and deliberately moreish. A lithe and juicy wine, it errs on the blood orange, cherry, red berry spectrum on the palate supported by savoury tannins built around a nervy structure.
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.