‘The SG’ Shiraz Grenache 2021
The SG is named in recognition of Sarah Gregory, one half of Genista.
Sarah and I met in 2008 while working together, and it was her strong work ethic that drew me in. With her generosity, support and commitment, she has helped me to realise my dream of Genista in the Barossa Valley.
A blend of Shiraz and Grenache, the two varieties complement each other just as we have for over 14 years.
|Residual sugar:||0.6 g/L (equates to 0.09 g/glass)|
- No fining agents used (only gravity!)
- Vegan friendly
Remembering back to winter of 2020, it feels like a very long time ago.
The early COVID months were a time full of uncertainty. Mickie was locked down in Victoria and couldn’t make it for pruning. We pruned what we could ourselves in the time we had, then brought in a crew to help complete the job.
We spent a significant amount of time re-working the old Grenache vines. In 2019, a drought year, we harvested a measly 1.2 tonnes. In 2020, also a drought year but with the aid of soil moisture probes and a heavy hand on the tap, we picked 3 tonnes. In 2021, following a full Eutypa Lata cut out and a return to reasonable rainfall, we picked 5 beautiful tonnes. A little bit of hard work goes a long way in restoring 77-year-old vines.
Spring was mild, with La Niña officially declared in September.
A mild summer with just a few scorchers before Australia Day 2021 was broken on the 25th of January with 21mm falling in the late afternoon.
On that day we had friends over for a BBQ and a swim, and I vividly recall swimming in the downpour, and the rain hitting our little wood fire oven and turning instantly to steam.
About a month later we picked our Shiraz, on the 22nd of February. One row hand-picked and thrown in as whole bunch on the bottom of the fermenter, the remainder machine harvested and destemmed on top. The bin was plunged twice daily, with regular pigéage throughout the fermentation period. The grapes enjoyed an extended time on skins, totalling 13 days.
Then, the family connection began!
After not seeing our Victorian family and friends during 2020, they were all pretty keen to leave Victoria and come and see us (and who can blame them!).
First up was Sarah’s Dad, Wayne, Yuho and Kai.
Wayne and I loaded the press across the day of the 7th of March and basket pressed the Shiraz straight to oak. Some new oak, purchased in 2020 and not used, along with some seasoned barrels made up the selection. The small press took a few refills and the day dragged on, with Wayne heading home early to cook his famous “Mock Fish” while I stuck around and cleaned up the mess.
Finishing primary and secondary fermentation in barrel, the wine was left on gross lees to mature.
Two weeks later, the Grenache was ready to be picked on Sunday the 21st of March. This time we had Sarah’s Mum, Kaye, staying with us. A librarian by trade, Kaye put in a mammoth effort to stay out in the sun all day with us while we ran buckets, bins and trailers up and down behind the pickers.
The next day – Sarah’s birthday – the Grenache was 60% destemmed on top of the remaining 40% whole bunch fruit. Plunged and treaded for 14 days, it was my parents – Kristine and Mickie – visiting for Easter that helped us basket press direct to barrel. The wine was racked off gross lees after primary and secondary fermentation finished in barrel.
Matured separately for 13 months, Sarah and I measured & tested various amounts of Shiraz and Grenache into a glass until we found a blend that struck the right balance of fruit, structure and velvet cloaked power.