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McLaren Flat, SA
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Small Batch Grenache, Egg vs. Oak

News — Posted 26.3.21

Small Batch Grenache, Egg vs. Oak

At Gemtree we are fuelled by the joy and curiosity of wine and are always looking to self-disrupt our own, and other’s winemaking and farming conventions. It is through this curiosity that we encourage experimentation to make better, and more interesting wines.

Our Small Batch wines are handmade, free from convention and free from restraints. They are always experimental, small volumes and made from select parcels of organic and biodynamic fruit. Truth is, these are the wines Josh and I have the most fun making and the wines we end up drinking the most of at our tables!

Our 2020 Small Batch Grenache wines are the perfect manifestation of our Small Batch philosophy.

2020 was a vintage where patience was required, the normal technical signs of harvest were not as reliable. We needed instead to trust our judgement through constantly tasting the berries in the vineyard to determine optimal flavour ripeness before harvest.

In 2020, we made two Grenache Small Batch Wines SBO (oak maturation) and SBE (concrete egg maturation). Both of these wines started their journey to the bottle in exactly the same way. The fruit was sourced from organically farmed; McLaren Vale vines planted in 1946. Post pressing, the Grenache was fermented exactly the same way before being split about 50/50 for maturation.

One parcel was sent to traditional oak barrels, while the other was racked into concrete eggs, where both parcels then matured in their separate vessels for a further 6 months.

True to the philosophy of our Small Batch winemaking, we had no idea what the result of the concrete egg maturation would be…

Turned out, luckily for all of us, both batches were exceptional; and very different. These wines are both destined for the dining table, but perhaps for different dishes and seasons.

Gemtree SBE Grenache

The Small Batch SBE Grenache is a juicy wine with fresh berry flavours, it has a natural tension and brightness and exceptional depth of flavour. It is a red wine you can challenge your own conventions with. Try it slightly chilled with robust flavoured seafood dishes such as a traditional Spanish paella or a French inspired seared salmon fillet with a simple beurre blanc sauce.

Gemtree SBO Grenache

The Small Batch SBO Grenache is a darker and more brooding wine, still with the typical cherry flavours, but more earthy. This wine has grippier tannin with a perceptively dryer finish. It is a rich and contemplative wine. If you are cooking up a wild field mushroom risotto or oven baked pork cutlets with roasted pear and crispy sage this wine will certainly feel right at home.

You may be wondering which one of these wines is our preference? Well, the honest answer is “it depends”. For me it is about the occasion and the food on the table. To put it simply, when there is still sun in the sky and the meal and company is light and lively it’s the SBE. When there is a chill in the air and I’m enjoying the warmth of a robust dish and conversational musings I’ll reach for the SBO.

For your own joy and curiosity, open a bottle of each and enjoy comparing the differences and similarities of these two fine McLaren Vale Grenaches.

– Mike Brown

Grenache Twin Pack

Shop our twin-pack here.

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