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Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2017

Grenache from Australia
  • W&S94
  • JS94
  • JH93
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • JH96
  • RP91
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

That perfume. So much, so pretty, so floral. Rose petals, potpourri, raspberry, maraschino cherry. Glossy feel in the palate but dusted with fine spice, alpine herbs and a light chalkiness. Knife edge tension of gently sweet fruit, slender tannin and cranberry-like acidity. So very delicate, refreshing, fine and light, finishing with gentle building pucker. It’s got a pinosity of sorts, and feels frisky and so very refreshing to drink. Killer.

The Fugazi Vineyard was allegedly named from a quirk – the post-hardcore punk band Fugazi was playing on Taras and Amber’s car stereo as they arrived at the vineyard, which sits on a rise between the Onkaparinga River Gorge and Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. 

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Taras and Amber Ochota make this from 68-year-old vines growing on a rise in Blewitt Springs. It’s not what you might expect from McLaren grenache, though it is what you might expect from the winery: dynamic, crazy-delicious wine. They ferment it with 80 percent whole clusters, starting with seven days of cold maceration, then allow the fruit to warm up so it begins to ferment on its own, leaving the juice in contact with the grape skins for 80 days. Bottled after six months resting in older French barriques, the wine feels completely knit, light and fresh, with scents of green peppercorn, green olive and delicate red fruit ghosting a trail of flavor that draws you back to the glass—a kind of salty, spicy magnetism. Deanna Gonnella, a chef on staff who wrote about her recent conversion to grenache (Fall 2018), suggested serving this with lamb braised in white wine, mint, chile peppers, red onions and a late addition of steamed clams.
JS 94
James Suckling
An attractive fusion of roses and raspberries on the nose with freshness and purity. A hint of wild herbs, too. The palate delivers a silky, slightly round central core of strawberries and wild raspberries. Quite powerful and subtly smoky. It expands long into the finish. Delicious now, but it’ll be even better in a couple of years.
JH 93
Australian Wine Companion
Often my favourite of Ochota's wines, this is unadulterated grenache, kirsch, root spice and orange rind, brushed with the sandy finesse of Blewitt Ridge turf. Vibrant, gluggable and like so many of the estate's wines, driven by cylinders of juicy acidity that belie the later ripening tendency of the grape at hand. Palpably ripe at lowish alcohol (12.2%).
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Distinctive, featuring aromatic white pepper, dried lavender and forest floor details that linger in the background, as fresh raspberry and cherry flavors at the core emerge on the finish. Set on a sleek frame, with a thread of fresh acidity. Drink now through 2028.
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Ochota Barrels

Ochota Barrels

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Ochota Barrels, Australia
The Ochota Barrels tale began on a surf trip, late 2000 along the Mexican west coast in a Volkswagen campervan. A final destination after traveling some of the world’s best wine and surf regions, Taras and Amber Ochota conceived the idea to make super premium wines back home in South Australia. The concept was to concentrate on the zenith variety of Mclaren Vale (Grenache) and the Barossa Valley (Shiraz), find an exceptional old vineyard site in each region and create plush, small batch, single vineyard wines. With the winery situated in Lenswood, and steep, high altutude, cool climate, north facing Burgundian cloned Chardonnay over a rock base of quartz and ironstone, at 1,800 feet above sea level......hello!!!?

As an Oenology graduate from Adelaide University, Taras developed his craft at wineries such as Two Hands and MSV in the Barossa Valley, renowned for world class Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro. Prior to this, Taras was at Nepenthe in the Adelaide Hills, who have achieved numerous accolades such as ‘Best Chardonnay in the World’ at the London International Wine Fair.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

MARVOCHOFUGAZ17_2017 Item# 514991