WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Crisp and bright, offering a mix of bright cherry, mineral and white pepper notes that add an air of delicacy and precision. The tannins are firm and in the background. Drink now through 2026."
The Cirillo family are custodians of what it is believed to be the oldest continuously producing Grenache and Semillon vineyards in the world. Planted in 1848, these vines are not only a part of the Barossa history, but Australia’s winemaking heritage. That is a long time ago! To put it into perspective, the California Gold Rush began the same year when the precious metal was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. The Cirillo’s winemaking heritage spans back over 9 generations to the Southern Italian province of Calabria.
The vineyard sits on what was an old inland lake over 100 Million years ago. The soil is deep silt sand over limestone and clay. This combination of free-draining topsoil and water-holding subsoil has sustained the 7 acres of grenache.
The gnarled and wizened basket pruned bush Grenache vines stand up to 6 feet high and nearly 6 feet wide. For these vines to survive at this age, they need constant attention through-out the year. Owner and Winemaker Marco Cirillo spends every spare moment training, pruning and nurturing each vine through its fragile life. The result is fruit with incredible intensity and old vine richness not often seen.
During primary fermentation the wine is hand tended 2 to 4 times per day. Once the ferment is complete it is carefully transferred into an 800kg basket press which will then allow intimate control of the tannin, fruit and overall structure of the wine. It is then stored in seasoned 60% French and 40% American oak hogsheads for up to 24 months.
Most of the grapes from these ancient vines are sold to the great Australian producer, Torbreck, leaving only a small portion for Cirillo to use in these wines. These wines produced from gnarled and wizened trunks are something to be treasured and enjoyed.