I’ll be honest, a Barossa old vine Grenache was never going to be a tough sell for me. So it when it came to this one made with 130 year-old vines by a Barossa legend, it was a no-brainer.
The Planta Circa 2018 Grenache is a new release from Purple Hands Wines made from ancient vines planted around 1880-1890 (hence the name). Sadly lockdown meant that this year’s Australia Unearthed hosted by The Vinorium was cancelled, meaning Craig Stansborough and Mark Slade from Purple Hands couldn’t launch their new vintage in the UK with as much fanfare. But I’ve treated myself to a lockdown rescue package nonetheless, having known what the Cabernet Sauvignon stable-mate was like.
Subtle blackcurrant hit the nose as it was poured, matching the the mid-crimson colour. This was followed by blackberry, morello cherry and chocolate, and hints of violets, nutmeg and white pepper on closer inspection.
Light but fleshy body, with more black forest fruits, raspberry, red plum and clove hitting the palate. Silky tannins and juicy acidity coming to the fore on the mid palate, carrying through to an elegant finish with milk chocolate, white pepper and fresh coffee beans on the end. You hardly notice the 14% alcohol as it glides down, until you try to get up a couple glasses later.
Being so youthful, this was tightly coiled when opened, I felt guilty thinking better of patience, trying to coax the aromas out of their sleep. But as I explored the wine over the next three days, patience was rewarded as it opened up, revealing more complexity under the surface – goji berries, oak spice and floral notes of pot pourri, rose petals and violets in harmony.
An opulent, yet elegant and supple Grenache – a contrast to the bold, brash and boozy Barossans you can sometimes expect. You can really sense Craig’s signature in this wine. If you do open it now, decant for a few hours to let it unwind. It will definitely reward patience in the cellar.
Key Facts: Purple Hands Wines Planta Circa Grenache 2018
Own-rooted ancestor Grenache vines on the Zerk Vineyard, Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, Australia, planted circa 1880-1890.