Region: Eden/Barossa Valley
First Glance: Elegant, Red-Fruited, Restrained
This is the inaugural release of the Sol Solice Grenache—and what a start! This wine will represent the finest Spinifex Grenache of a given vintage. In 2022 the fruit was sourced from two vineyards: the Rostein Vineyard in the Eden Valley (64%); and a vineyard in Light Pass in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Both vineyards are managed organically by Pete and Magali. The three hectares of Grenache in the Rostein Vineyard were planted in 2018, and according to Pete, at 490 metres above sea level, it’s the highest altitude Grenache block in South Australia. The Light Pass site is a dry-grown vineyard with 60-year-old vines.
Vinification was similar with both blocks. Fruit was hand-picked, fully destemmed and naturally fermented in stainless steel and old wood. Fermentation lasted eight days with minimal pump-overs. After pressing, the wine matured in seasoned puncheons and demi-muids for 10 months before it was bottled without fining or filtration.
A sign of things to come, this first release is pure magic. It’s knee-deep in scents of berries, florals, earth and spice, while the palate is intensely flavoured, with ample texture, refreshing tannin and brightness all striking a flawless balance. Finishing with a beautifully long, tapered and perfumed close, this refined and layered Grenache over-delivers in every department. Southern Rhône, eat your heart out.
“Smells exotic; is exotic. Orange peel and raspberry, cranberry and chalk, floral elements and roasted spice notes. It’s both pretty and substantial, juicy and taut. There’s something ultra pure about this wine; something special. Woodsmoke and earth notes rise as the wine breathes. Apart from many things else, it’s a gorgeous drink.” 95 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front