Based on assiduous soil mapping, analyses and collation and corroboration of data by the world’s eminent authorities, the team at Alkina have deduced the existence of nine diverse subsections of the estate’s vineyard, each its own respective micro-terroir. These are known as Polygons. After extensive deliberation and the culling of parcels within certain Polygons in some instances, three
Polygons were nominated as having the capacity for exultant wines at the very top of the estate’s qualitative hierarchy. The others service the Old Quarter.
Alkina Old Quarter Grenache Shiraz Mataro: hewn of pure, concentrated fruit from the estate’s oldest septuagenarian vines. 50% Grenache, with almost equal parts Shiraz and Mataro. Biodynamic certification, de rigeur. Minimal messing about, defined by an absence of cultured yeasts, enzymes, acid additions, tannin adjustments and the obfuscation of the vineyard’s voice by excessive new oak, the creed. Things are not done in half measures at Alkina, where Grenache is perceived as the Barossa’s finest variety due to its suitability to climate and the predominance of schist over limestone in these parts. Wild fermented in concrete tulips, before maturation in concrete and older French wood, the result is one that bears a chiaroscuro of darker fruited shades, juxtaposed against the weightlessness of red fruited accents melded to a diaphanous latticework of detailed tannins and juicy natural acidity. Plenty of woodsmoke, bergamot, sandalwood, salumi and black olive tapenade, too. A stunning wine, emblematic of what Australia has long been capable of but largely, failed to deliver with this classic blend.
Smooth, mellow red. Ripe plum, cola, liquorice, white pepper, raspberry jam. All happening. The bouquet and palate similar notes, medium, or just fuller weight, a light rub of tannin and a spritely, tart-ish finish. Feels pretty good in the quaffing mode, doesn’t quite speak to the price tag perhaps, being a bit friendlier and easier access than most at the same zone, but hey, special farm, organics, ambitious producer and away we go.
92 points, The Wine Front (February 2022)
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.