Ochota Barrels Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2011

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Right off the bat, you’d never place this as typical Australian Grenache. It is peppery, gamey, floral, and incredibly fragrant. The nose is enchanting and, like all great Grenache, brings so much game to the party that there’s nearly no need to put lips to glass.

This is also brilliant on the palate, with light texture and potent flavour. It is not a restrained wine, but rather full throttle Grenache done with a focus on aromatics and texture rather than palate density. This 13.8% ABV wine thus fills one of my great desires – flavour and intensity without weight. It reminds me of the Sardinian Grenaches from Rigatteri, but with more Australian sweet fruit and less medicinal herbs.

The winemaking is also interesting: a 50% whole-cluster fermented wine (which might explain some of the unusual aromatics) made with grapes from 63 year old dry grown bush vines planted in ironstone and gravel red clay. 6 day cold soak and natural fermentation leads to 48 days maceration. Minimal use of sulphur. No fining or filtering.

The Fugazi is undoubtedly one of the most interesting Grenache’s I’ve had from Australia, beat only by the single vineyard Grenaches from D’Arenberg, which ultimately have greater complexity and structure (if that’s what you’re looking for). This is, however, a brilliant achievement for a new winery and proof they will be well worth following. My only complaint is the pricing, which seems a tad high, even for a wine this interesting. Under 200 cases made. From the McLaren Vale.

Excellent
$50 at Garagiste

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