Tonic Grenache 2017
Just as in 2016 we added the Churinga vineyard into the mix, 2017 saw us find another cracking Grenache source - the Humphries Vineyard in Sevenhill. Think 90 year old dry grown bush vine Grenache in the Sevenhill area - perfect...
2017 was an interesting year in Clare. There was heaps of winter rain and then the growing season was cool, with soggy episodes throughout. We started picking pretty late and, fortunately, low yields ensured healthy, ripe fruit was ready to come off before the weather really turned nasty.
After hand picking the fruit, we de-stemmed 65%, leaving the rest as whole bunches, then foot-stomped it and left it be. As in 2016 it spent 31 days on skins as it fermented naturally. Then through the basket press and into old French oak barrels. It was left on its lees, untouched, until racking in January 2018. It was bottled the following month with a dash of sulphur, but without fining or filtration.
It's boring to say it...but the 2017 Tonic Grenache feels...well...so Tonic-y. It's not a powerhouse Clare red vintage, which suits our light, ethereal style of Grenache quite well. It's lifted, spicy and fresh, with some of that trademark Campari spice and crunchy cranberry and red berry fruit. Won't mind a light chill on a warm day.
300 dozen made <> 13.2% alc / vol <> N.B. no wax seal any more
What others have said about it...
Review by Campbell Mattinson at http://www.winefront.com.au (April 2018)
“300 dozen made. The packaging is exquisite. Gary Walsh famously labelled it “Clare meets Etna” or some such last year. Now for this year —
Light. So light. Delicate. Bone china. A piece of craft, the flavours placed one by one into the glass. Or so it feels. Mineral, graphite, strawberry, red cherry, herbs and …. tonic. You could describe this in myriad ways but it’s the lightness, the dryness, the way presence takes precedence over weight, the way spices spark their way along the palate as if a line of Tom Thumbs have been set to fire. That word again. Exquisite. Completely outside the norm of what we expect of grenache in Australia.” 94/100 Points. Drink: 2018 – 2025