When our guest in episode 242, Ralf Hadzic (formerly, Fat Cat), said he’s select an interesting wine for the SA Drink Of The Week, he presented us with a 2017 Ochota Barrels Single Vineyard Grenache.
Get prepared, he said, because this is one of the natural wines being produced by a small number of “winemakers” in the Basket Range and Forest Range region of the Adelaide Hills.
Ralf is the man sought out by visiting celebrities to ferry them safely about South Australia during their visits and he said Ochota Barrels sprung to mind tonight because he clearly remembers Mick Jagger saying it was the one place he really wanted to visit because he loves their wines.
Jagger ended up buying about 10 cases and having them flown back to one of his homes.
And thus, we were intrigued.
2017 Ochota Barrels Single Vineyard Grenache tasting notes
The first thing to note with “natural” or “unmade” wine, is that it is really cloudy. Furthermore, you need to drink it young, otherwise the uncoordinated fermentation will run rampant and produce an expensive vinegar really quickly.
Steve commented about the cloudy “juice” saying how it reminded him of the premium, cloudy juices from other local hills companies, like the Ceravalos.
He also said that against the cloudy bulk of the liquid, the colours were a bright red, like a strong raspberry cordial with a dash of Ribena.
Ralf drew attention to the slight fizz on the tongue, which he attributed to the yeasts still being active; a hallmark of this style of wine.
Steve said if you could imagine going to a doctor and they pressed down on your tongue with a hard stick, but this one was made of plum and raspberry, that is what this Grenache is like; subtle but firm traces of fruit.
He also noted that there were faint aromas of austere upholstery, such as Queen Elizabeth II was talking about this week when grumbling a little about her hard, uncomfortable, golden coach.
And, finally, Steve said there is a hint of ginger beer left on the palate, along with very drying tannins.
If you’d like to hear the full tasting of the 2017 Ochota Barrels Single Vineyard Grenache, use the player below or open your favourite podcast app, search for The Adelaide Show, and download or stream episode 242 of The Adelaide Show Podcast.