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2015 Ballycroft Small Berry Durif

2015 Ballycroft Small Berry Durif tasting notes - The Adelaide Show Podcast

This week’s South Australian Drink Of The Week is the 2015 Ballycroft Small Berry Duri, made from a few rows of vines at Greenock.

Joe and Sue Evans hand pick their grapes, with the help of passing and returning backpackers, and for their 2018 vintage, note that our very own Steve Davis contributed by lending a hand to pick some, too.

Steve’s appreciate for labour-intensive vineyards and wineries went through the roof after his brief exposure to hand picking, especially when some of the plants are bush vines, meaning they are a ground level, requiring pickers to “get down on their bums” to work their way through the dark fruited bounty.

Joe got his clone of Durif, clone 12, from Davis University out of Sacremento, which is the place where they investigated the DNA of the variety; Syrah pollen crossed with Peloursin flowers. This took place in the nursery of the 1860s French botanist, Dr François Durif, hence its name.

As a side note, only 33 dozen bottles of this wine were made, and the same will be true of the 2018 vintage. The short message? Order some direct from Joe while you can.

2015 Ballycroft Small Berry Durif tasting notes

The first thing Steve noted was the very, very dark colours of the wine, even the meniscus, where the wine stretches up around the edge of the glass, was dark with very little transparency.

Joe said Durif is very dark, known as Blue Imperial.

In fact, he went on to explain that grape skin is where wine gets its colour from and, with Durif’s small berries, there is a much higher percentage of skin to juice, yielding much more concentrated colour than other varieties.

Steve began the rest of his wine deliberations imagining that Sue had just gotten out of a bath and walked past him, leaving a scent of talcum powder and violets as she goes.

[At this point, Sue and Joe were a little concerned at “Sue post bath” being used as a wine descriptor!].

But then, he continued, the dominant experience of this wine was like sneaking into his nanna’s pantry, taking a long sip, and having the sweet thickness of sultana biscuits on his palate while breathing in the dense aromas of cloves and other heavy spices lurking in the recesses of the small, dark room.

Joe added that his Durif is picked at flavour ripeness, resulting in those flavours while yielding an alcohol level of 15 percent.

His final observation is that it is a big, meaty wine, perfect for pairing with garlic metwurst and tomato on a cracker, a beef stroganoff, or a 500g beef schnitzel with mushroom sauce at the Greenock Tavern!

You can hear the live tasting of the 2015 Ballycroft Small Berry Durif using the player below or by opening your favourite podcast app on your phone, searching for The Adelaide Show, and downloading episode 241 of The Adelaide Show Podcast.

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