Country, Region: Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
We continue our expensive obsession with Chardonnay, drinking and thinking about the very best examples of this grape that we can find. Though we applaud the hyper-fine, flinty, and cordite laden styles that the best Australian wines exhibit, we also love the balanced intensity and power evident in the best of Burgundy. To this end, this wine is sourced from an exquisite duo of vineyards in the Piccadilly Valley and Birdwood sub regions of the Adelaide Hills.
All fruit was handpicked then whole bunch pressed to a mixture of new and old barrels (35% new) with full solids included for wild ferment. Post fermentation, all barrels were topped and remained un-sulphured until we believed the balance of natural acidity and gentle MLF complexity had been achieved. No battonage was undertaken, but maturation on fine lees for 9months, and MLF at approximately 35% has built gentle texture and complexity.
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.