97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Grenache sourced from vines planted in 1880 and brought back to life through the talented and highly respected hands of Craig Stansborough. Aromatically, the wine is beautiful, filled with orange zest and a wash of red fruits ranging from raspberry through to cranberry. I detect spice and sweetness from cherry too… There’s a dusty, earthy overtone which provides a warming hug to the fruit. Dried, Mediterranean herbs – clearly a complex bouquet which keeps giving. The palate is focused, pure and spiced with sweet fruit which expands across my entire palate. The fruit feels mineral driven (I presume due to the depth of the ancient vine roots) with lavender and liquorice complementing. The tannins are discreet – the feel is seamless, with a snip of acidity providing outstanding definition. A blood orange sorbet-like feel keeps building and does not relinquish for many minutes. Suave and sophisticated. Drinking from 2020 to 2030+. Decanted for 1-2 hours and best served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97-98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Lush aromas of sweet raspberry, cherries and redcurrants with a beautiful lift of fresh vanilla and sweet garden mint. The palate offers great depth with delicate fruit wrapped in layers of minerals and earth. Flavours, although complex, show a little restrain at this stage, but the nuanced structure shows there is plenty of detail yet to unfurl. Don’t hesitate opening if you love ethereal wines, as this is a stunning beauty today nevertheless. Truly a world class Grenache and something very special indeed. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux Glass following one hour of decanting."
Craig Stansborough “The fruit for this is from the same vineyard site as the Cabernet Sauvignon, with similar vine age of 130+ years which is super special. The soil profile is deep sand over clay which tends to give excellent aromatics with structure.
We first took this Grenache in 2016 and we were immediately impressed, so the plan was to eventually produce a single vineyard wine. 2016 was a superb vintage, but we needed to see what this block was all about and eventually it was used in our standard Purple Hands Wines Grenache. 2017 was quite a cool and wet year in the Barossa, not ideal for producing structured Grenache with depth, but these years produce lovely, fragrant, spicy and juicy Grenache ideal for early consumption. 2018 was the ideal year with great conditions, so we decided to bottle the first Planta Circa Grenache. We believe the wine had all the elements we were looking for, with great fruit intensity and structure while maintaining the elegance we want to achieve in our Grenache.
With regards to winemaking, hand-picked and crushed into concrete open fermenters with header boards and around 30% whole clusters placed in the bottom of the fermenter, temperatures were allowed to peak at 32C and left on skins for 11 days, after basket pressing the wine was racked to older 500 litre French oak puncheons to undergo malolactic fermentation. Once this was complete, SO2 was added in barrel and left for 9 months before racking and bottling in December 2018.”
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.
Purple Hands Wines is the solo venture of Grant Burge Chief Winemaker Craig Stansborough. Craig’s partner in crime is his “good mate” and fellow wine lover Mark Slade. Craig and Mark made their first vintage in 2006 from just over a tonne of hand-picked Shiraz from Craig’s own vineyard that they crushed and fermented in his shed. From there, they have gone on to produce a range of incredible wines that include their standout, single vineyard trio the After Five Wine Co range. These wines are sourced from three individual sites across the Barossa Valley, one of which is Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard. This particular vineyard is planted with 8 hectares of Shiraz and 1 hectare each of Italian varieties Aglianico and Montepulciano, as well as a third generation, family owned Grenache vineyard. Through their single vineyard range, Craig and Mark’s aim is to produce fruit driven wines with elegance and texture that reflect the vineyards from which they are sourced.
Their After Five Wine Co Shiraz is sourced from Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard. The Old Vine Grenache is produced from vines sourced from the Zerk Grenache Vineyard, a family owned and run single site, planted by the Zerk family in 1961.
The third vineyard that Purple Hands source fruit from is the Woodlands Vineyard, which Craig and Mark uncovered in 2012, discovering 468 exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon vines hidden at the back of an old vineyard across the road from the Zerk Family Vineyard. After some investigation by a historian, they discovered that the vineyard was planted some time during the mid-1800s with the Cabernet Sauvignon estimated to have been planted sometime between 1880 and 1890 and are thought to be some of the oldest Cabernet vines in Australia.
It is these ancient vines that make up their Planta Circa Ancestor Vine Cabernet Sauvignon. They produced the first vintage of this in 2013 and it received 97 points from James Halliday, with the following vintage receiving an incredible 98 points. Due to the vine’s age of around 125 years, the yields are small, with usually only 2–3 barrels produced, which equates to only 100 dozen.
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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