Vintage: 2020

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2020WI107B206 x 75ScrewcapAvailable
Vegetarian
Vegan
Producer

Willunga 100 has focused on premium Grenache since its first vintage in 2005. It was the sensitivity to site that Grenache displays in McLaren Vale, that attracted owners David Gleave MW and John Ratcliffe during their first recce to the region. They became determined to showcase the old vine Grenache they came across in vineyard after vineyard, particularly at a time when few took this grape seriously.

Since 2015, Willunga 100 has made two single-vineyard wines, one from Sue Trott’s 80-year-old vineyard in Blewitt Springs and the other from Bernard and Wayne Smart’s century-old vineyard in Clarendon. The same winemaking techniques are used for both wines, involving whole bunch fermentation, ageing on lees in stainless steel for 12 months before bottling and no oak ageing. Compared to Blewitt Springs, Clarendon has a higher elevation and more of a continental climate, with warmer daytime temperatures and cool nights. Bright, floral and perfumed on the nose with red berry fruits, this expression demonstrates the elegance of McLaren Vale Grenache. The vines in Blewitt Springs are planted on ancient sandy soils with an underlying clay and ironstone base. Warm sunny days and moderating sea breezes characterise the climate in this sub-region. The resulting wine has lovely dark cherry aromas on the nose, with richness and roundness on the palate.

From the 2021 vintage the name of each vineyard, brought to life by original winemaker Skye Salter, is acknowledged on the label of these two wines. The 2021 ‘Smart’ won the Grenache trophy at Australia’s National Wine Show in 2023. This is the second time a Willunga Grenache has been honoured with a trophy at the show, as in 2017 the 2015 ‘Trott’ took home Best Alternative Variety. In late 2022 Renae Hirsch took over in the winery. A highly accomplished winemaker, she brings a wealth of experience and a passion for McLaren Vale Grenache.

Willunga 100 purchased the ‘Blind Spot’ vineyard in 2019. This 19-hectare site, in the heart of Blewitt Springs on Maslin sands, has close to eight hectares of old, bush-trained Grenache situated on Moritz Road, within the ‘Hundred of Willunga’. This is the source of Willunga 100’s Grenache and Grenache Rosé, both of which are single vineyard wines. The former has about 15% whole bunch in 2021 vintage, which lifts the naturally aromatic fruit of Grenache grown on Maslin sand, while the latter is pale, dry and, as they say in Australia, ‘smashable’.

Vineyards

The Tempranillo grape variety is ideally suited to the Mediterranean climate of McLaren Vale. The grapes come from two different sites - one a cooler vineyard at higher altitude in the subregion of 'Tatachilla', the other closer to the coast in 'Sellicks' with a more moderate climate. The vines are trellised with a single cordon.

Vintage

2020 was a challenging year and a challenging vintage. A very hot and dry spring and some very strong winds over flowering led to shorter shoot length and poor fruit set which meant lower yields overall. McLaren Vale was very lucky to avoid the bushfires and smoke taint from the fires in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island. After a bumpy start, the ripening season ended up being relatively cool and extended with the resultant fruit showing great concentration of flavour and lovely bright natural acidity.

Vinification

Fruit was crushed and chilled to a stainless steel open fermenter for a four day cold soak then underwent fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Fermented to dry on skins, then basket pressed three days after alcoholic fermentation had finished when the structure of the wine felt balanced and complete. Once pressed, the wine was racked off gross lees to old French oak puncheons for malolactic conversion and maturation. Wine remained in barrel for eight months. No fining, vegan friendly.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Bright aromatics of cherry and red berries with hints of spice. The palate is a little more generous and leans towards blue fruits with blackberries, warm spice and an earthiness that gives the wine a savoury profile. The tannins are fine grained and persistent, supported by a juicy acidity.

Alcohol (ABV)

14%

Acidity

5.9 g/l

Residual Sugar

0.3 g/l

pH

3.64

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