This Charming Man Grenache 2018
Smart Vineyard, Clarendon, McLaren Vale
 
On a beautiful hillside in the Clarendon sub-region of McLaren Vale, three generations of the Smart family have devoted their lives to Grenache. Decades have passed where precious few valued their crop and yet they endured. That this remarkable vineyard has sustained is down to one man, Bernard Smart and this wine pays homage to this charming man.
 
Vintage Conditions
Though the preceeding 2017 was a late, cool and sometimes damp season, it ended with lower than average rainfall for the late season. Above average rainfall in July and August filled soil profiles and dams but from then on the season has been very dry. As low as 40% of average rainfall in areas such as Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. It is this dry weather that characterised the 2018 season and the low disease pressure coupled with ideal conditions for flowering and early development set the vines up for an excellent season. With virtually no rainfall between January and April, fruit quality in all areas was very good though some heat stress in February led to isolated defoliation, particularly on Shiraz. As we like to pick “on the way up” our season began quickly with a number of varieties ripening at once but then progressed nicely, with the ability to pick when it suited given the settled weather.
 
Viticulture
A remarkable site that has vines of 100 years old. The entire site, planted high in the picturesque Clarendon sub-region, is dry grown bush vines and has been farmed by the same family for 3 generations. This wine is sourced from one particular block where the canopy is raised slightly higher above the ground, allowing for better air circulation and increased radiated sunlight.
 
Winemaking
Hand picked on the 15th March and transported to the winery where 20% was retained as whole bunches to be placed on the base of a 2ton open fermenter. Wild fermented and gently hand plunged twice a day during active fermentation. Pressed off to 300 litre hogsheads, of which 25% were new French.
 
Tasting 
From a near perfect vintage for the site, this wine displays muscular yet elegant silky black fruits couple with deep, rich, warming spices, hints of violet, mineral and black cherry. 
 
Alcohol: TBC
Suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans

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