We trialled a couple of new vineyards this year and one of them was the wonderfully named MacDonald vineyard. Once we stopped laughing about the names we could come up with we realised how good the fruit was. Wonderful, thick, black dense McLaren Vale Shiraz. Jarryd and I (who unloaded the fruit for Deliverance the year before) looked at each other and just smiled. We had another one.
The fruit was given all the usual kid glove treatment before being pressed while still fermenting into brand new puncheons (500L barrels) as we did with Deliverance (something which we don’t normally do with McLaren Vale Shiraz). Normally we use hogsheads (300L barrels), but for some reason it just felt right. Robert was grinning like a cheshire cat.
This wine took forever to ferment. Normally it’s all over in 4 weeks after it goes to barrel. The Mataro only took a week! Three months it took. While it was fermenting we actually picked, fermented and bottled other wines. Finally our patience wore out, winter set in and it stopped. Up until this point the wine had remained on lees (dead yeast, broken bits of seed and skins) and the contact with the lees had enrichened (is that a word?) or embiggened (for all The Simpson’s lovers out there) the palate, turning what was already a big mouthful of wine into a huge mouthful of wine. Lab tests confirmed the expected 17% alcohol and we all went and had a beer to celebrate.
Old McDonald Had a is currently ear marked for bottling on the 10th of November and pre sales are strong as the fans of Deliverance are tasting barrel samples at the winery and getting in early.
Cellar Door $80
Lucky Swines $68
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