Barossa Valley – more notes, this time from two new names to me.
I always try to taste some new wineries whenever I travel and after visiting some of the well-known estates, I met up with Eperosa and Rojomoma Red Art to see what they had to offer. As it turned out these two artisan producers make very intriguing wines indeed, so if you are a prospective importer who fancies something a little different, then do drop these people a line. I have noted their web addresses below. As always, my notes are typed one-handed into an Ipad, so they are a little rough around the edges and not always crafted into complete sentences, but they capture my thoughts about the wines as I was tasting them, so I cannot improve on these musings. Finally, the prices noted are Australian retail prices.
Eperosa – Brett Grocke www.eperosa.com.au
2015 Eperosa Blanc Vine Vale Semillon $30AUD – 100% Semillon 12.5% alcohol
Three blocks planted in 1941, 1971 and 1975. Whole bunch basket pressed into old French hogsheads. Through malo and then roll the barrels. 15 months in barrel and bottled with no fining or filtration. Only 12.5% alcohol. Brett bought the vineyard in 2013 and 2014 was his first vintage. He loves Champagne and so the name of his wine brand is a blend of Epernay and Terra Rossa! This is a mind-bendingly complex wine with beautifully relaxed and layered fruit with flashes of ginger and a very smooth, balmy finish. The acid is all natural, so there is no harshness whatsoever. This is a stunning and very unusual wine. 18.5/20
2015 Eperosa Totality $35AUD – 78% Mataro, 15% Magnolia Road Shiraz, 7% Stonegarden Grenache from Eden Valley 14.9% alcohol
Very bright and raspberry-scented and rather plump on the palate even though the nose seems light and fragrant. 55% of the Mataro comes from the heavier soils the balance is from sandier soils and this is where the perfume comes from. The Shiraz comes from Brett’s own block. 17.5/20
2015 Eperosa Magnolia 1896 Shiraz Barossa Valley $80AUD – 15.5% alcohol
Grey sheep perform viticulture duties. More of a deep sand topsoil but there is clay underneath these 119-year-old vines! It is situated in a bowl at the foot of the hills. Very violet and plum-scented with awesome depth and complexity, this is a sexy and plump wine and only two barrels were made – one 2-year-old and one 3-year-old Francois Frère puncheon. Unlike and Barossa Shiraz I can think of, this is like a dark, meaty Morey-Saint-Denis with heroic perfume and stunning detail. 18.5+/20
2015 Eperosa Elevation Shiraz Barossa Valley $40AUD – 15.3% alcohol
Taken from three blocks, one from 1965, one from 1996 and one from 2010 – all dry grown. Very deep sand. Much more exuberance here, but equally more tannin and menace. There is staggering depth here and it is a wine borne of serious blending as opposed to anything else. At 40$ this is exceptional value for money. The fruit is explosive and it shows serious élan. 19+/20
2015 Eperosa Stonegarden 1858 Eden Valley Grenache $60AUD – 15.8% alcohol
From Springton, this is taken from one of the oldest vineyards in the country. Made from 97% Grenache, 2% Mataro and 1% Shiraz. This is very late harvested, seriously complex and, strangely, not that delicious. It is unnerving, confusing and otherworldly. I think that the alcohol level is the main reason why this wine is so unusual. In 2017, Brett felt that he grabbed the fruit soon after veraison and it has ended up with 14% alcohol. But in 2015, in the vineyard, his analysis showed 13.6% and then in the winery, it ended up at 15.8%!! Super weird and really stunning – in the true sense of the word stunning! I have no idea how to give a score to this wine. I feel it is rather disrespectful to the venerable vines to pigeonhole them with two digits, so I will decline and look forward to tasting the 2017 in due course.