Wines - Driftsand
- Current Release
- First Vintage
- $20.00 per bottle
- Order this wine
On our vineyard in the seventies, 80 year old Grenache and Shiraz bush vines were pushed out to make way for mechanised grape production. At the direction of the large companies at the time, the cleared land was replanted with high yielding white varieties to fulfil demand in the bulk market. Twenty years later, out of respect and as a tribute to the hard work and wisdom of the early German pioneers who planted the bush vines, Mum, Dad and I spent many late spring months on our knees, grafting the twenty five year old vines back to their original varieties. Grenache was traditionally planted to make fortified but these days I like to use it in this age-old blend of Grenache and Shiraz.
2014 was a really good vintage for us here in Vine Vale. Crops were well below average which resulted in concentrated fruit with great balance thanks to an extended ripening period. Because of the low yielding nature of the 2014, the Grenache and Shiraz was more concentrated than previous vintages. The result is a bold harmonious blend that is unashamedly fruit driven. An explosion of kirsch liquor and spice on the nose leads into a plush, long and supple palate that delivers loads of fruit with a nice hint of seasoned oak in the background. A real crowd pleaser that will also be a surprise package after 8-10 years in the cellar.
2012 was a cracker of a year across the board, perfect ripening conditions led to excellent concentration of colour and flavour. This wine display rich berry, plum characters with underlying nutmeg, white pepper and five spice. Good acidity and gentle tannins lead to a long clean finish. As per 2010 Driftsand, I’ve re-introduced a small proportion of Mataro into the blend for some complexity and at 46% Grenache, 44% Shiraz and 10% Mataro, this year’s Driftsand certainly over-delivers for its price.
2010 was one of the lowest yielding Grenache vintages in our history. This makes for a very fruit driven style, balanced with some real lifted spice that our Grenache is famous for. The Shiraz adds white pepper on the nose and sweetness on the palate, while the Mataro component adds some rich, gamey complexity.
Reminiscent of the 2007, this year the Driftsand is lower in alcohol than the huge 2008. It is really spicy on the nose and savoury on the palate. Pretty kinky stuff from an amazing vintage for Grenache.
Less Rhone-like than the 2007, however, the Driftsand is always very fruit driven early on. The 2008 is big on the palate, juicy, rich and long. Being a hot vintage, this is a very masculine version of the style. It is 60% Grenache again but the Shiraz is definitely the strength of Driftsand this year.
It was a great year for both varieties. Grenache gives the sweet perfumed, spice characters and savoury tones and the Shiraz fills out the palate, always in the background, like the oak. This is the everyday drinker taking inspiration from the Southern Rhone.
It is the Grenache dominance (60%), which makes it so approachable. It drinks so well on its own or with your favourite pizza. The Shiraz component comes from our younger vines (27 years old) which fleshes the wine out and gives some sweetness and depth to back of the palate. Drink now or cellar and be surprised.