The 2012 Sparrow & Vine red is now available. It’s mostly (70%) Grenache from Noel Doecke’s organically farmed Eden Valley vineyard, planted in the 1960′s. The Shiraz, Mataro and Carignan are from old vines planted in the sandy soils of the Vine Vale subregion on the Barossa Valley, farmed biodynamically by Wayne Ahrens and Suzie Hilder.
It’s handled pretty gently in the winemaking process. Hand picked, fermented with natural yeasts with some whole bunches in the mix. No oak used and the only preservative a pinch of sulphur at bottling.
The concept of the wine was to create something that had some of the weight and texture of Pinot Noir but with a generosity of fruit. The cooler heights of the Eden Valley produces Grenache with the right pitch of juicy red fruit balanced with fresh acidity and without the sweet, jammy character that it can produce in warmer sites. Structure and some spice from the Shiraz, Mataro and Carignan add complexity. I’m very happy with the result.
It has a distinctive, lifted, dark cherry and raspberry perfume and some bright, leafy notes. The palate is bursting with that dark cherry juiciness and darker blackfruits and balanced with spice from the Shiraz, fresh turned earthy notes and effortlessly fine tannins.
It really is delicious, moreish stuff, made for drinking early and often. It’s a great match for tapas style food and will certainly take a chill on a warm day.