The Yangarra flagship from deepest sandy soils and oldest vines, this is regal but rugged expression, red and dark fruits, earthy, mineral, utterly individual.
Yangarra Estate possesses over 25 per cent of the old vine grenache in McLaren Vale. This wine is sourced from a special block of the original 1946 vines in the highest and coolest part of the estate, with the sand layer over a metre deep. Certified organic and biodynamic, the ‘High Sands’ vineyard was recently recognised as Australia’s ‘Old Vineyard of the Year’.
From the deeply sandy and most elevated section of old vines on the Yangarra Estate – the ‘High Sands’ block – this is always an utterly individual expression. Fragrant, sandy soils do that, but it’s also so very savoury, like an expression of a hard-won existence, eking out a living. Notes of cacao nibs, currants, dried orange peel, tar, dried cranberry and a sanguine, rusty nail character all feature. Sinewy, dry toned, with dates and muscatel grape notes, this feels like the earth it comes from.
Themes of this wine
The great grape of the Southern Rhône, grenache, has also found many homes around the world, from Spain, to Italy, to California, while Australia is home to the world’s oldest productive grenache vines, planted in 1948. Today, a renaissance is seeing the grape championed, with makers in McLaren Vale arguably turning out the most compelling examples.
While it couldn’t feel any more removed from city life, the McLaren Vale wine region is inside Adelaide’s metropolitan area. And although the township itself is only 40 minutes by car from central Adelaide and vineyards brush up against ever-encroaching housing, McLaren Vale remains unaffected by the urban sprawl. With deeply etched history, the Vale has a slow-paced sense of calm and an extraordinary wealth of untrammelled beauty. It is home to some of this country’s most beautifully pristine beaches, as well as some of the world’s most forward-thinking grape-growers and winemakers. And with over 80 cellar doors, it is an essential destination for wine lovers – and anyone else, for that matter.
An organic farming method created by Rudolph Steiner in the 1920s, biodynamics is a slightly mystical approach, employing elaborate organic ‘preparations’ to restore the natural balance of the soil and encourage microorganisms. It also observes the lunar cycle to prescribe actions in the vineyard and winery. Why some of it works is not clearly understood, but it is used by some of the world’s greatest producers.