Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - "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."
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
The Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
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.
However, his twenty years of wine-making experience and his other project at Massena means that this experimental style is far more than just guess work! Very often, his wines are born out of an idea and Jaysen, drawing on his years of experience, has an inherent ability to seek out the vineyards that will communicate this idea to its very fullest. He even conceived the idea for the label of one of the wines first, and set out to produce a wine that would express the sense of this, finding the ideal site in Adelaide Hills.
Jaysen is Barossa born and bred, starting out as a qualified accountant, he began working in the business side of wine, becoming the general manager for Turkey Flat as well as the great Barossa winery St Hallett. It wasn’t long however, until Jaysen’s passion for wine grew and he decided that he’d “rather make wine than crunch numbers”. So scraping together enough money to buy some Grenache and Shiraz, he produced his first vintage with his good friend Dan Standish. Massena was originally meant to be no more than a side project for personal consumption, but grew to be one of Barossa’s most recognized and respected brands.
After two decades honing his skills as a wine maker, Jaysen felt it was time to take another step and start his solo project. JC’s Own wines are about letting the grapes do the talking and allowing them to naturally express the site from which they are picked, seeking out sustainable vineyards and practicing minimalist wine-making, using natural yeast, minimal sulphur and no fining or filtration. His wines are about the unadulterated essence of the grape, combining a sense of place and some great looking bottles!
A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.
Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.
The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.
It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.
The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region.
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