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2018 Huntington Estate Grenache

AUD $32.00 inc. gst
Only 724 bottles made
As the climate continues to get warmer, we’re making a serious investment in Grenache, a grape that thrives in warmer and drier conditions, and fits the Huntington wine style and what we are trying to achieve. Since 2015, we have been making a concerted effort in the vineyard and the winery to experiment and learn about how to grow and make great Grenache.

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. 
We will see reserve grade fruit from this new Block in 5 years, all being well. Shiraz and Grenache are ‘grasshoppers’ in that they go nuts when the conditions are ‘too’ good (vs Cabernet, an ‘ant’ that conserves resources). Shiraz throws energy into canopy which has to be trimmed and multiple bunches to be thinned; Grenache puts out huge bunches of flavourless fruit if you don’t keep on top of it.

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.

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.