Gestalt Blacklight Barossa Mataro Grenache 2016 (RRP $30 WM $27.90)

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Blood plum, stewed cherries, blueberries and violets dominate the evocative nose, supported by bay leaf, fennel and a hint of cedar. The complex palate features bright notes of glacé cherry, red currant and raspberry balanced by plum crumble, anise and black pepper, with the long, compelling finish showing cigar box and amaro. This cohesive wine has a beautiful mouthfeel, fine tannins and is fiendishly moreish.

Blacklight

The name Blacklight captures the key attributes of the component varieties; the contrast between the dark, brooding flavour spectrum of the Mataro, and the light, red fruit flavours of the Grenache. Also implied is the dynamic between the two. By providing a contrapuntal context, details that would otherwise be hidden are revealed.

Vineyards

Mataro

The 30 year-old Mataro vines from Stockwell in the northern Barossa were right at home in the warm, dry conditions of the short and sweet 2016 vintage. The dry growing season produced smaller berries with good concentration of flavour and colour. Some decent late season rain in early March helped extend ripening towards the deeper, darker flavours needed for the Mataro component of Blacklight.

Grenache

Most of the Grenache for the 2016 Blacklight was sourced from Williamstown at the very southern, elevated end of the Barossa. The cooler Williamstown vineyard site protected the Grenache during very warm weather in December and January, enabling the retention of bright, punchy flavours. A small portion of Grenache from Bethany was also included in Blacklight for the first time. The elevation and cooling gully breezes at the Bethany vineyard produced some stand-out Grenache in 2016.

Winemaking

Our handling of the Mataro aimed to accentuate the darker, savoury characters of the fruit. The Mataro was de-stemmed and crushed before undergoing wild ferment, where it received vigorous manual punch-downs and occasional pumpovers. The wine was basket pressed after 18 days on skins and transferred to old French Hogsheads. After spending 14 months in oak, all free-run and pressings components of the Mataro were included in Blacklight, comprising 56 per cent of the final blend. The Grenache was handled more gently in order to preserve the bright, delicate characters of this variety. A small portion of whole bunches were included in the wild ferment of the Williamstown Grenache, which also underwent a period of extended maceration before being pressed to very old American Hogsheads. The Bethany Grenache was pressed into old French oak after a short time on skins. Both Grenache components were matured in oak for 12 months.



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