Halliday 98Wine Enthusiast 96Q Wine 96The Real Review 95
McLaren Vale

2015 Yangarra High Sands Grenache

From Block 31, the highest section of the vineyard at 210m planted '46, 50% whole berries, 50% destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, matured for 10 months in used French oak. For many devotees of McLaren Vale grenache, Yangarra Estate High Sands is the king. It's not for idle dalliance as is young grenache that is focused on freshness and purity of red fruit flavours, this has power and depth, the oak simply softening an edge or two here and there, most assuredly not about imparting oak flavour. Red and black fruits both contribute without cutting across the power of the other. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
98 POINTS
James Halliday - Halliday's Wine Companion

From Block 31, the highest section of the vineyard at 210m planted '46, 50% whole berries, 50% destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, matured for 10 months in used French oak. For many devotees of McLaren Vale grenache, Yangarra Estate High Sands is the king. It's not for idle dalliance as is young grenache that is focused on freshness and purity of red fruit flavours, this has power and depth, the oak simply softening an edge or two here and there, most assuredly not about imparting oak flavour. Red and black fruits both contribute without cutting across the power of the other.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Wine Enthusiast

From Yangarra's highest blocks of 1946 bush vines, planted on soils so sandy they resemble a beach, this biodynamic Grenache is remarkably complex and ageworthy. Driven by minerals, the hot stone and iodine aromas weave seamlessly into softer ones like drying violets, crunchy red fruits, ground pepper and a basket of freshly picked herbs from the garden. The palate has focus, structure and finesse, the signature of a sensitive and highly experienced winemaker (Pete Fraser). Tannins are chalky and fine, pinning in the crunchy high-toned fruit, corset-like, and allowing more terroirs-driven elements to shine through. A berry and wild herb finish lingers on the close.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Steve Leszczynski - QWine

I'll unashamedly admit this is the best Grenache I have ever seen come across my bench. It's pristine but a bit rustic all at the same time. It's tight yet doesn't come across tense. Dark berries and fruit are pinned together by measured minerality and dusty feels in the mouth. Grown in sand which runs two metres deep, these bush vines produce only five to six bunches each. I felt an air of calmness as I walked this vineyard with winemaker Peter Fraser only a month ago - a sacred site in Australia's wine history planted back in 1946. No irrigation, grown organically and biodynamically, there's so much to savour with this wine. Brilliant!

Expert Review
95 POINTS
Huon Hooke - The Real Review

Deep red/purple colour. The bouquet holds smoky, charry, savoury aromas with some dry spice notes, and has depth and gravity which mirrors the deep colour and is more profound than usual in pure grenache wines. Clove, pepper, mixed-spice aromas, full body and powerful flavour. The tannins are fine and soft and nicely balanced, providing impressive structure to the wine. An outstanding grenache.

Expert Review
94 POINTS
Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front

Keen fruit, pure tannin, a keen line of acidity and stunning length. If there's oak here it's so hand-in-glove that you're hard pressed to detect it. Kirsch, redcurrant, fennel and generous flings of dry spice. It needs a little time but it's a ripper wine. 94.5 Points

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

A cellar trophy, rich and savoury nose of spices and dried fruits. The mouth is abundant, and the integration of flavours is difficult to define where it starts and finishes. Tannins start mid pallet and persists, you may need a moment in between mouthfuls.

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Winemakers Note

The fruit was hand-picked and mechanically berry-sorted, with only 50% crushed. Five day cold soak at approximately 10 degrees. Open fermenters were used, wild yeast ferment. Plunging only took place during fermentation. No pressings were used. The wine was kept on yeast lees in 100% older French oak for the 11 months of maturation. We have selected individual barrels that showcase the pedigree of the deep sand, with intense fragrance juxtaposed with intense fruit expression and gritty long tannin structure. Not Fined. Certified organic/biodynamic.

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