2017 Moonmilk Shiraz Grenache
The early drinking red wine has had its high and low periods, yet there are still classic wines of the world made as just this - specifically Beaujolais, and the Joven (juvenile) wines of Spain. An early drinking red wine is nothing to be ashamed of - it is a celebration of the season, and demonstrates that not all red wines have to be profound and thought provoking. Some can just be downright enjoyable!
Appearance: deep and vibrant red/purple, with purple notes. The colour is extraordinarily dense, and full of vibrance.
Aroma: plums, mulberries, red fruits, lifted cherry notes, spice and dark chocolate. An engaging and enticing array of aromatics that is very hard to put down.
Palate: generous and soft, with bright fresh flavours. The flavours are surprisingly complex as they evolve from one to another. There is great length of flavour, and abundant, but soft, juicy tannins. This wine drinks fantastically now, and will for some years.
Food ideas: bbq, warm afternoons, lamb loin chops, rib eye, spag bol, pizza, vegetarian samosa, all things casual and easy.
Vineyard: Sourced from a few vineyards in the centre and south of Margaret River. The vineyards on the centre of the region give riper, more generous fruit characters, while the southern vineyards lend and almost Rhone austerity, while still retaining lovely aromatics.
The 2017 season: The 11th consecutive good season for Margaret River. A moderately wet winter led into a typically mild Spring, and the rains dried up as summer began. There was, however, a few Spring storms at the very critical time of flowering. As such, the fruit set process of the grapes was very poor, and resultants yields from the vines very low across the board. Summer was warm with a few hot spikes, but ample water in the ground kept the vines in good condition. The ripening period of January and February was moderate, with little or no rain - perfect conditions for the vines. A few showers in March and April added some spice to the vintage, but the reds were well harvested by then. Because of the very low yields, the resultant wines are very generous full flavoured, with beautifully ripe flavours.
Blend: 60% Shiraz, 36% Grenache, 4% Viognier
Winemaking: The grapes were allowed to ripen to fully showcase their ripe varietal characters. These grapes were hand harvested from the 15th March to the 7th of April (down south).
The Shiraz was crushed and destemmed to open fermenters. The Grenache (and the few buckets of Mourvedre) was just thrown into an open fermenter as whole bunches without crushing. The ferments were plunged three times per day (Grenache foot stomped). There was no temperature control.
At about 6 be (mid ferment), the Shiraz was pressed, and allowed to finish ferment in old barrels. This allows the extraction of the colour and flavours from the skins, but avoids the harder extraction from the higher alcohol levels generated at the end of the ferment. The Grenache was allowed to complete fermentation on skins - the foot stomping would progressively break open berries, and release the sugars for fermentation. As such, the fermentation was long and gentle, resulting in a beautifully perfumed wine. Once fermentation was finished - about 3 weeks - the wine was pressed, and moved to barrel.
Mlf for both varieties was allowed to occur in barrel. The wine remained in these barrels for 7 months, and then blended.
The chosen oak was old barriques (older than 5 years), and 2 ex Cognac puncheons (older than 20 years, with Cognac being their last fill). The wine was minimally fined, filtered and bottled. The wine was allowed to settle after bottling for 4 months, and then released to maximise its bright, fresh juiciness.
Total production of 205 cases.
Residual Sugar< 0.5g.lt