|Clos Clare Grenache - clever|
14.5%, Screwcap, $25
Clos Clare is the wine project of the younger Barry (of Jim Barry) generation, with Sam and Tom producing a select range of quite classic Clare Valley styles under the Clos Clare label. A straight Grenache is probably not the most classic of Clare wines, though if you did have a 40 year old biodynamic vineyard like the one that the Barry boys have access to then you'd probably make a straight Grenache too.
What I like about this wine is just how varietal it is. Every breath, move, taste is of Grenache. In some ways that even works to this wines detriment, showing up all the foibles of this most capricious of grape varieties. But I personally dip my hat to the boys for coming up with something so vibrantly Grenache-y.
In particular, it's the nose that smells the most varietally pure, with cooked plums, wet bitumen, cherries and smoky spice. It's the smell of blood and dirt, of red fruits and licorice density. Great stuff. The nose is rather a bit more traditional, with a concentrated mid palate, rather warm finish and smart grainy tannins. There's a welcome savouriness to the palate too (which I quite like), though as it opens up that whisper of Grenache confection and warm alcohol does take over a fraction.
A real Grenache done well, this has plenty going for it and is constrained only by that slight headiness. 17.8/92+