JC’s Own is the solo venture of Jaysen Collins. We know Jaysen very well, through his Massena wines that he produces with his friend, Barossa veteran and Vinorium favourite, Dan Standish. It’s fair to say that Jaysen follows a creative style of winemaking, interfering as little as possible and allowing the grapes to do the work for him.
Winemakers Note: I cut my winemaking teeth in the heavy red soils of the north west of the Barossa, where Greenock is the jewel of the crown in my opinion. My winery is here, the pub does a good burger and by chance there’s some pretty good shiraz vineyards knocking about.
A few vintages ago I came across a vineyard just on the north of the Greenock township that hides behind some big gum trees. It runs down a small hill facing east, with lean soils, cooler afternoons, tiny yields, small berries - how asleep had I been to drive past this vineyard for several years? But I’m definitely alert now!
I like shiraz that is big on fruit intensity but is more supple and svelte on the palate, powerful yet velvety, structured but sensual - I could go on but I think I’ve conveyed my point.
So, this is a rare single site treat from my part of the world and a true connection to my beginnings in making wine.
Winemakers Note: I love Grenache, I love its versatility and its drinkability. I was mostly drawn to getting involved with the process and leaning to more textural, structured and savoury versions. Then one day I got to thinking, what about just doing nothing and let the grapes do the work.
So, I chucked a few bins of hand-picked grenache grapes into a tank with a bit of co2, sealed the lid and came back several weeks later. When I lifted the lid, I was hit with a whole lot of gassy funk, but in a really good way. It was wild and feral but mostly intoxicating.
So, for a few weeks after I just jumped on top of these bunches, breaking them up, in real terms to build structure, but mostly to get lost in the ferine like smells that filled the air.
Stuart McCloskey “By far one of my favourite annual releases, as I am fascinated by the wacky blend (Old Vine Chenin Blanc and Crouchen, Angaston; Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills; Chardonnay, Krondorf; Pinot Gris, Adelaide Hills) and the textural feel too, the wine provides glass after glass of uncompromised satisfaction. The grapes are lovingly hand harvested, foot treaded and left on stalks and skins for 24 hours. JC ages the wine on the lees for 11 months and bottles unfined and unfiltered, hence a little cloudiness. Bring everything together and you are presented with a textural beauty which will gain complexity over the coming 3-5 years, but there is no harm in drinking this wine now as it’s so irresistible. I adore texture and I love wines that do not conform – The caveat being that I am not a fan of daft / wacky wines which are created to disrupt. More often than not, they are produced for social media and rarely succeed. For me, JC is a brilliant winemaker with his natural skill for white wines being his ultimate gift. This man can produce bloody amazing wines which are thrilling, sensuous and just outright delicious. The nose is a riot – I actually find myself unable to put the glass down. There’s a touch of oxidation (perfectly acceptable) along with a savoury mélange of hay, wild grass, a milky chalkiness, perhaps a little bruised apple and sweet spice. The palate feel gets my juices flowing – waxy and grippy - my cheeks puckering a little. Savoury, with that fresh grassy character. This is stunningly explosive on the palate. A riot of… Actually, I am struggling to be succinct as there is so much going on. In short, and following a very long tasting note, this is simply a must have. It’s a joy and will be the only wine to serve in the garden this year. Drink now to 2025. Served using Zalto Universal glassware.”
Winemakers Note: I grew up across the road from a famous old school winemaker who was known to be one of the best blenders of his generation. So, for years I followed this ideal in the wines I was making. For a hands-off winemaker, you actually feel like you are doing something!
One day pondering life, the universe and everything I thought about why I hadn’t challenged this notion. Grenache and friends work well together - I’ll just pick them within a few days of each other, chuck it all in one fermenter and let the ferment rock it in its own way.
So, my theory is that the different varieties bring something complimentary, but they also bring something individual - so equal but opposite reactions in the ferment. I then remembered my high school physics and worked out it’s actually the same way a rocket works. Go figure.
Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - "Vermouth, the name derived from the German 'Wermut' for wormwood, was usually made to cover up some flawed wine. Add some aromatics and a bit of spirit and all is made right again. I wanted to try it on the opposite spectrum, make the best white wine I could, source some premium herbs and spices and have a bash at it. This dry Wermut is made from premium Marsanne, grown on the western ridge in the Barossa Valley. The wine is wild fermented and aged on lees for texture and body.
Exclusive to The Vinorium
This red wine has a beautiful purple colour with deep violet hues. On the nose, there is a fruity promise of blackcurrant berries, tangy red berries and fresh citrus fruits. The palate is light and fruity, true to the nose and slightly tannic. The barrel adds spicy notes which are nicely blended. This 2015 vintage can be served as an aperitif, with grilled white meat or barbecue food.
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Sourced from old bush vines ageing 150 years in the Angaston Foothills. The bouquet is explosive and perfumed with blueberry, sweet spice, spiced cherry, cola, smoke, warm earth and minerals. The palate delivers a smörgåsbord of dark raspberry, pomegranate and blood orange with glimmers of liquorice in the background. The flavour profile continues along the same line with sweet, black raspberry, cassis, and sorbet-like blood orange. The flavours are deep and the palate wonderfully textured. There’s a spiced black pastille character which builds and builds. The tannins are sappy and fresh. There’s a seriousness but with equal measures of fun and built for those seeking an interplay of power and finesse. Mightily impressive. Drink now to 2027+. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - "Old vine Barossa Grenache vineyards are a rare treat. Walking amongst the old bush wines gives me such a wonderment of what has transpired in the years gone by to get to this moment in time. It’s like I am breathing the air of times past – it can be truly something quite moving and somewhat magical. 100% whole bunches get a foot treading over several weeks, I press it to large oak barrels and bottle it un-fined and unfiltered. That means when I taste this wine I’m still caught up in the magic from the vineyard that has transpired for well over a century. I’ll wipe the tear from my eye as I have another glass."
Winemakers Note: Old vine Barossa grenache vineyards are a rare treat. Walking amongst the old bush vines gives me such a wonderment of what has transpired in the years gone by to get to this moment in time. It’s like i am breathing the air of times past - it can be truly something quite moving and somewhat magical.
I’ve been working with Barossa grenache since my first vintage and whilst versatile, it can easily become overly sweet and some people can even call it lolly water. But not this special site - no way josé. It gets cool air draining from the Eden Valley across the red sands, so I’ve found it leans more toward complexity and structure, which is what pushes my buttons.
How do I treat such a special site - pretty simply is the answer. 100% whole bunches get a foot treading over several weeks, I press it to large oak barrels and bottle it unfined and unfiltered. That means when I taste this wine I’m still caught up in the magic from the vineyard that has transpired for well over a century. I’ll wipe the tear from my eye as I have another glass.