Categorized | grenache et al, McLaren Vale

Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2010

I haven’t actually met Taras Ochota (or his wife Amber) [edit: have amended this now with many wonderful meetings and visits to their home] but I have followed the birth and toddler years of his brand, Ochota Barrels with intent. I purchased original releases out of interest, had heard from friends in South Australia that they were a ‘producer to watch’. Then, lo, an email out of the blue from Taras saying he had heard I had been buying his wines and would I like to look at them again, this time on him. Yes thanks. A brief discourse, some Sydney recommendations for some leather work for his wine sales, and the wines arrived.

The back story is colourful but hasn’t been detailed to me in person. Taras and Amber are winemakers and winemaking consultants (and don’t mind a bit of surfing!). They’ve travelled the world making wine, including stints in the US, Sardinia and Puglia, but the Australian craft was honed at Two Hands, and more recently for Taras, working alongside Peter Leskie running the Nepenthe contract winemaking business in the Adelaide Hills where they base themselves. For the Ochota Barrel wines, a less-is-more philosophy is employed – minimal intervention and input between vine and bottle.

The Fugazi Vineyard was allegedly named from a quirk – the post-hardcore punk band Fugazi was playing on their car stereo as they arrived at the grenache vineyard, that sits on a rise between the Onkaparinga River Gorge and Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. I’m unsure of winemaking practices in detail, but little SO2 goes in the mix, there is about 40% whole bunch in this wine, it sits in French oak for 17 months, and is bottled unfiltered and unfined. It’s picked a little earlier than most too. It’s a grenache that alludes to subtler, gentler things and reveals a savoury nuance often missed by perfume-and-pretty-fruit-grenache-addict producers.

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Tasted : APR12
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $35
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2012 - 2020
Visit winery website

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