Only old 300l and 500l barrels are used for these wines and this is the key to their purity and cadence. In addition to the gentle oak treatment, the careful addition of whole bunches (20% in each wine) is perfectly judged, too, bringing wistful hedgerow and briar perfume to puncture the glossy depth-charges of black fruit. The blend is the more powerful wine, using 69% Syrah and 31% Grenache to bring rippling muscle beneath its mill-pond-still surface. I like it enormously, and it is a big, bold wine, but you will have guessed from my featured image that the Grenache has the edge in this vintage. This is a ravishing wine, which continues to celebrate the world-class Grenache being made in South Australia. I could spend hours sniffing this wine – for a mono-variety, with a completely hands-off winemaking recipe, this is a magnificently perfumed creature. It is clear that layering fruit from Kangarilla, Blewitt Springs and McLaren Vale is one of the factors behind this wine’s success, but it is perhaps more complicated than that. This regal wine layers site, soil, sub-soil, rocks, minerals and local flora, too. It is the non-fruit elements which grab me as much as the obviously stunning red fruit notes. I hope that these wines secure representation in the UK soon. If not, you will just have to jump on a plane to Adelaide and drink them in situ – now that’s a plan.
2016 Bekkers McLaren Vale Grenache 19+/20 $80AUD (Drink 2019 – 2030)
2016 Bekkers McLaren Vale Syrah Grenache 18.5+/20 $80AUD (Drink 2020 – 2035)