2022 The Smart Vineyard Clarendon Grenache
A layered and floral nose of fresh lavender, flowering thyme and sage, along with bright red berry and dark cherry fruits. The palate is layered and complex whilst maintaining elegance. It has a mineral rich, structural palate with characters of wet slate, savoury cherry fruit, hints of warm spice and bright pomegranate like acidity. It is layered and has a fine and lingering finish.
We experienced another excellent growing season in 2021/2022 with a wet winter setting the vines up nicely. A very mild, but also dry, summer/autumn followed – meaning there was low disease pressure over a very gentle and extended ripening period.
Yields were slightly down on average but with other conditions being favourable, the season has resulted in excellent wines showing great varietal character and lovely fresh natural acidity.
A single vineyard Grenache sourced from Bernard Smart’s vineyard in Clarendon, McLaren Vale. The dry grown bush vines were planted in 1922 on loamy soils over red-brown clay and bedrock. Vineyard is situated at 230m above sea level on a South-East facing slope.
Fruit was hand harvested, destemmed and whole berry sorted into stainless steel open fermenters. The whole berry ferment spent 10 days on skins, during which time it was gently plunged to ensure optimum extraction whilst maintaining the delicate aromatics. Wine was basket pressed off skins before maturation and malolactic fermentation on lees majority in stainless steel to retain fruit purity and freshness.
Asian style braised beef
Gold Medal - 95 Points
2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards
The Real Review - Huon Hooke
"Brilliant, electric purple colour; the aromas leap from the glass with pepper, clove and other fragrant spices amongst the dark-fruit aromas. The wine is medium-full bodied and well endowed with cleansing tannins and deep flavour. A superb Grenache that drinks well now and will richly reward keeping."
Halliday Wine Companion, Ned Goodwin
“The highest, coolest and arguably the most famous site for grenache in the Vale. Old, dry-grown bush vines. Thirst-slaking tannins bridge the attack and a chewy, ferrous finish, the framework in which blood plum, bergamot, kirsch, dried thyme and lilac carouse. I'd like a bit more stuffing to this; more mid-palate density. Yet there is plenty of energy suffused with nourishing tannins and drinkability in spades. Lots to like.”
The Financial Review - Max Allen
The 2021 vintage of this wine (out now) is very good (after all, it took out the trophy for best grenache at this year’s National Wine Show in Canberra), but I think the 2022 (out soon) is even better: where the ’21 is all open-textured, earthy and dusty-herbal, with powdery tannins (reflecting the loamier soils and more exposed nature of the Smart vineyard), the ’22 has purer, more focused red berry fruit intensity, and finer, tighter, more structured tannins.