My appetite for South Australian Grenache is edacious, all-consuming and, to be honest, a bit of a concern.
But putting pen to screen and writing about them is part and parcel of coming to terms with my affliction, so please allow me to continue. Though we are spoiled for great Grenache in this fine state of ours, Yangarra do it better than most, and this, the High Sands Grenache, is their flagship wine from the esteemed variety.
The sands of McLaren Vale seem to capture the best of the grape. Hailing from a biodynamic, bush-vine vineyard planted in 1946 at the highest point of their estate, this particular wine captures all that I love about Grenache. Its perfume, its spice notes, deep and resonant in fruit yet medium-bodied with a smooth flow across the palate.
In the past, we have tended to treat Grenache like Shiraz. Belting it around and punishing the cap of the ferment with numerous pump overs, losing the fragrance and grace of the variety in the process.
At Yangarra it is treated a little differently. Hand-picked and 50 per cent whole berry, it is tipped instead of pumped into the fermenters and gently plunged during its wild yeast fermentation before heading for a 10-month sleep on lees in old, seasoned French oak.
The results are stunning: fruit depth with detail, perfume and mineral drive; textured and structured yet sprightly and long of finish. Approachable, yet one for the cellar, it’s a beauty.
YANGARRA 2014 High Sands McLaren Vale Grenache