2018 Huntington Estate Grenache
Only 724 bottles made
In 2016 we planted a 0.5 hectare Block 15 adjacent to Block 1 Shiraz which produced its first crop for Vintage 2019. As I write this, the vineyard team are readying another new block (much bigger this time – 1.5 hectares) at the highest point of the vineyard for planting this Spring.
Climate change is providing a welcome natural break to these energetic vines, and in the new block, extremely lean soils will also help to regulate the Grenache’s tendency to overcrop.
IN THE VINEYARD
Estate grown fruit from Block 15 was 50% fruit thinned because Grenache tends to overcrop and I was trying to get concentration of flavours to see what Mudgee Grenache can do! Getting the grapes ripe (at least 14% Baumé) is necessary but a challenge – Grenache is always the last variety to ripen and patience is essential. The astringency equation referenced earlier is critical here.
A very light touch is required with Grenache – it doesn’t like oxygen or oak and behaves weirdly eg. Increases colour after it’s pressed off skins! We fermented whole berries with 5% carbonic maceration using whole bunches (it acts like salt, spiking the fruit a bit). Basket-pressed into 40% second-use oak French and American (60% old) for 9 months, very little fining.
The 2018 Grenache is our best to date. Everything is magnificently balanced and in tune, the fruit is appealing (cherry and raspberry), the tannins super-fine, the body medium. To 2028.