McLaren Vale is located just South of Adelaide in the State of South Australia and is by far the most important wine-producing area in the Fleurieu peninsula. Pioneers such as Thomas Hardy and John Reynella helped to establish the region in the late 19th Century and today it is home to some of Australia's most highly regarded wine producers.
The climate is Mediterranean, with fresh sea breezes helping to moderate temperatures during the growing season. Altitudes differ markedly according to the location, and different mesoclimates are created as a result of varying exposure to the Mount Lofty Ranges in the north and the Sellicks Ranges in the south. The summers and most of the autumn season is dry, which helps prevent vine diseases.
The varied climate and geography explains the diversity of grapes grown in McLaren Vale. Shiraz is, obviously popular, as is Cabernet Sauvignon and old vines Grenache. But Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are also grown successfully here, albeit in smaller quantities.
B.F.G. (Big Friendly Grenache) is sourced from Dowie Doole’s oldest bush vine Grenache planted in 1965. The block is located at their Cali Rd Vineyard in the sub-region of Tatachilla. The wine is crafted using the gentlest handling possible, de-stemmed not crushed, open fermented using only hand plunging. The maturation in oak is kept short and only old oak is used to preserve the characteristic natural perfume of delicate fruits and delicate palate of the Grenache varietal.
A lifted bouquet expressing hallmark Grenache characters; strawberry, raspberry and boiled lollies. The palate shows the crunchy red fruit with a gentle tannin line adding length.
Winemaker Chris Thomas (C.T.) selected his favourite barrels to produce this elegant Shiraz. Fruit is a blend of the two estate terroirs of Dowie Doole; the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs and the ancient rocks of Tatachilla. This Shiraz is matured for 24 months in second year or older French (80%) & American (20%) hogshead oak barrels.
This is a blend of various vintages. The base is made from Shiraz wines from 1995 – 2012 vintages. These wines have been used like a solera system with a portion of the older material used in the blend to give the wine depth and wonderful richness on the palate. To increase the complexity of this sparkling shiraz a base wine blend is kept from vintages as far back as 1996. This base is stored in old oak hogsheads on a bed of Chenin Blanc yeast lees to aid mouth-feel.
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