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."
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Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - "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."
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Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - 'I started this JC's Own project in 2015 with this wine. I started making wine based on a love of grenache but had moved away from this in the wines I was making. I was trying saperavi, tannat, primitivo, barbera - the list goes on and on.
The grind of making wine to a style and a market had slowly worn down my passion for the industry. So I kicked myself in the bum and set out to make a wine just for me - hence the JC's Own.
I like grenache that is a bit funky, gassy and reductive, a bit more along the line of village Beaujolais. So I picked a vineyard I'd been using a bit earlier, went with 100% of the bunches and just started foot treading it to see where it would end up. I'd seen some street artwork in my travels in Spain, got a friend to knock up a label based on my recollection, so for me this was a bit orginal (or orginale for the Iberian connection) in its concept.'
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A wonderfully infused perfume of fresh, sliced pear, fennel, orchard fruits, white flowers, smoky minerals and a faint whispering of wild honey. As JC set out to achieve – the palate offers substantial texture and grip from the tannins. Lots of nerve to admire too. I will say this wine is far more serious than JC lets on! It’s taut, focused, unadulterated, and packed with ripe, apple, pear, quince, and soupçon of honeysuckle… There’s a lovely line of juicy acidity which runs straight through the core and compliments the salty / smoky mineral finish perfectly. The length is to be admired. Very impressive and will thrill those who are seeking great northern and southern Rhône wines on a budget, which is a tad unfair on JC and this fabulous wine. Super-impressive and I'm taking a 12-pack home… Do not over chill and served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking from 2020-2025+”
Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - "I'm going to be honest, winemaking was not my first choice of career - I'm a frustrated 5"7 wannabe point guard that had dreams of making it as a basketballer in the NBA. If only I was another foot taller I kept telling myself.
What's this got to do with wine you ask? I've always wanted to spend some time in the USA amongst the basketball culture, see some games, buy some pimped out shoes - but life in general sometimes delays these goals. In 2015 I finally got to spend an extended amount of time on an amazing holiday property in California, right amongst the Sierra Nevada range. I have travelled back every year since and have come to know this vineyard like a second home.
This site well away from the razzle dazzle of the Napa. Exposed limestone, 2,000 feet above sea level - a bit foreign to my Barossa home. So I was able to grab a tonne of Pinot Noir and have a bash at something different. So I kept it simple - 100% whole bunches, foot stomped, large oak ageing and into a bottle. So I've brought back with me a bit of a reminder of home away from home."
Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - I always get mesmerised when I see a flock of birds floating and drifting in the wind. It brings a sense of freedom and joy to me. I knew the bluebird is the symbol of happiness so I had a concept for the label – I just needed the wine!
So with this idea floating about in my head, I set out to make a great drink that brings a true sense of delight. I found an east facing vineyard in the shallow soils of the Adelaide Hills that just gets the morning sun – no baked flavours here. I got rid of the stalks and just fermented this as whole berries. Just before coffee in the morning and after a cold beer in the afternoon I quickly give it a plunge by hand, nothing too serious or strenuous. It’s bottled early to catch the brightness I’m looking for, meaning it’s dangerously drinkable whenever you need a pick me up.
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."
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Jaysen Collins (winemaker) "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 svelt 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."