Over the last 20 years, brothers John and James Lienert have transformed the family farm on the western edge of the Barossa Valley into a viticultural wonderland. Every grape used to craft a Jack West wine is grown in those vineyards, where the broad blue skies, long sunny days and famed ‘terra rossa’ soils allow generous flavour and solid structure to develop naturally. The elevated position takes advantage of afternoon sea breezes from nearby St Vincent Gulf to cool the canopy, producing bright aromatics and retaining natural acidity in the wines.
Very much a tale in two parts with pre veraison dominated by stories of extreme heat, wind and nearby bushfires! Chapter 2, entitled ‘The Good Things that Happened Post Veraison’, reads like a modern day fairy tale full of big blue skies, warm days and cool nights that ride in like a knight in shining armour to save the day! From the clutches of doom, this story finishes with a happy ending, producing top notch fruit which gave rise to kick ass wines.
Harvested mid March on one of those days that makes you feel glad to live life and make wine on the Barossa’s western ridge. The fruit was destemmed to a 2.5t coffin bin with ~25% whole bunches layered on the bottom for complexity and spice. Following a 2 week maceration with daily hand plunging and the odd foot stomp the Grenache was gently pressed to avoid excessive tannin extraction and retain maximum to almost dangerous levels of deliciousness. Maturation of the wine took place in old French oak hogsheads for approximately 6 months and bottled in October 2020. We couldn’t wait a moment longer!
Winemaker’s tasting note
Slightly purple in colour with ruby hues. Fresh red raspberries and strawberries accompanied by mulberry, red currants and cherry fill the nose, balanced by a delicate mix of herbal notes of sage, thyme, white pepper and a hint of salsa verde. Take a sip and the palate is lively and bouncy; the bright red fruits crash over you like a early morning beach swim. Then comes the herbal notes, spice, white pepper and fine tannins from the whole bunch fermentation, which slowly build on the palate giving the wine a fine boned structure. There are hints of jubes and sour cherry, the hallmark of Barossa Valley Grenache, but not overdone. A perfect case in point that Barossa wine need not necessarily slap you in the face like a fishmonger’s wife wielding a good sized haddock.
James Lienert, understudy to Mr. West