Circa 1880, PF Zimmerman planted Grenache vines on his family property ‘Woodlands’ situated on the outskirts of Lyndoch. The site is around 250m above sea level with a Southerly aspect. Soil consists of deep sand over clay. The ungrafted goblet vines are hand pruned to twenty buds. Irrigation is minimal and only used in very dry years.
The Grenache fruit is hand-picked and around one-third of whole clusters go into open fermenters with the balance crushed on top. After around a week and a half on skins, the fruit is basket pressed and transferred into seasoned puncheons to undergo MLF (malolactic fermentation) after which the wine is then left for around three weeks. The wine is racked and only very coarse filtration was used prior to bottling.
Langton’s Writer Ian Desmond sits down with Master of Wine Ned Goodwin MW to look at the Planta Circa wines from Purple Hands. The Ancestor Vine Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet are sourced from some of the oldest plantings in Australia yet winemaker Craig Stansborough has used the fruit to make completing, contemporary wines.
Gold Medal + 95 points
Barossa Wine Show 2019
This is Grenache in silky smooth form with dense raspberry and cherry flavour, baking spices and rose oil perfume. It’s fluid and gentle, with tannin that feels like stroking suede, succulence and volume of flavour, though it keeps itself trim, especially on the finish where a handful of dried herb and tannin grips surely.
95 points, The Wine Front (July 2020)
Hand-picked, 35% whole cluster tipped into open fermenters with the balance crushed on top, 10 days on skins, basket-pressed and into older puncheons for mlf, then left on lees. Smooth and luscious, boasts the typical grenache introduction of spiced red fruits, bramble and red confectionery. Youthful and pretty but also sturdy, it moves in the glass with macerated raspberry and red cherry, anise, violets and red licorice. Perky tannins will ensure some medium-term ageing.
92 points, Wine Companion (February 2020)
"A gilded ride across rosewater and raspberry clafoutis notes to darker, more resonant hints of kirsch and bracken, as the wine opens in the glass. Full-bodied by virtue of place I suppose, but the feel is far lighter and more mid-weighted, verging on ethereal. Delicious. Fresh, with the finish meandering long across a spiderweb of spindly tannins soused with herb, Indian spice mix and orange zest. If there is one established grape that sheds light on this country’s vinous future it is surely Grenache!"
96 points, Ned Goodwin MW, August 2020
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.