You know what I like best about Yangarra’s wines? The neck tags that the samples land with. There’s no bullshit tasting notes (who cares), no marketing guff. Just facts. And numbers.
Of course, when the back story is uncompromised, you don’t need anything but facts, and with this Yangarra Ovitelli Grenache 2018, there are fewer shortcuts from the start.
The grapes, for one, come from a block of biodynamically farmed bush vines at Kangarilla planted back in ‘46. Tick. That fruit is handpicked, mechanically sorted, and wild fermented in concrete egg, spending a huge 158 days on skins. Tick. There’s no oak maturation either, the wine pressed off said skins and matured for another 6 months in an egg. Tick. Oh and final numbers for the fellow anoraks – pH 3.27 TA 6.4g/L.
When you don’t compromise, it’s much harder to fuck things up, and Pete Fraser hasn’t dropped the ball. Like the best concrete-raised releases, this is a beautiful wine. A bright wine. A lively, red-fruited, blink-and-you’ll-miss-the-magic style, the fruit easy-going given the serious intent, yet with tannins that are bigger, grander, more compelling, more bitter and mouthwatering than such juiciness is associated with. It’s a wine that you can, and will, drain a bottle of without feeling like anyone is trying too hard.
I missed the ’17 Ovitelli but loved the compact ’16. This feels even brighter and limpido – yet another Yangarra Grenache that feels right and true.
Best drinking: now to at least a decade. But I’d go earlier. 18.7/20, 95/100. 14.5%, $55. Would I buy it? Easily.