After cracking the lid on this resoundingly good Grenache, I was tempted to text Juxtaposed winemaker Wes Pearson and tell him to put his prices up. Which I’ve done for 3 vintages now (and he hasn’t done).
Indeed this Dodgy Bros Juxtaposed Old Vine Grenache 2019 is too cheap. Even if it was, say, $45 a bottle, it would still be a value pick. By a margin.
Let’s run through why.
As a start, the fruit for this comes from two notable plots – the Smart Vineyard (planted in 1921) and the Wait Vineyard (planted in 1943). That’s unequivocally A-Grade dirt and some of the finest grower Grenache from McLaren Vale.
Plug either vineyard name into Google and benchmark the wines sourced from these sites. Then shake your head at the $29 sticker…
Next, stir in the handiwork of Wes. By day, a scientist at the AWRI, his work focussed on smoke taint research, trends in low/no alcohol wine, Shiraz terroir etc etc. Serious, lab-coat wearing wine things. By night (or weekends), he pours this context into producing ripe, textural, persuasive, underpriced McLaren Vale wines.
For the cherry on top, add in packaging featuring designs from real artists.
Wes is a friend, so it could be a blind spot. But I challenge you to read that back story, taste this Grenache and then disagree that $29 is too cheap. Go on, I dare you.
It’s a delicious wine too. Ripe, redcurranty and raspberried, the palate rounded, mouth filling, mid weight, generous and full. There’s sandy, slightly chewy Grenache tannins too, which brings everything into the right frame to finish. As a whole, it’s a compelling drink, the only flaw being some late warmth (and that I still prefer the 2017 vintage slightly).
Grenache, despite the flurry of attention in recent years, remains a grape relegated to the kiddies seats, giving up a full sized chair and real cutlery to grapes like Shiraz, Pinot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Or, worse still, relegated to the table up the back marked as ‘blending component’, hanging with the Petit Verdot.
But it is wines like this Dodgy Bros Juxtaposed Old Vine Grenache 2019, and the small armada of mod. Vale Grenache from the likes of Bekkers, Vanguardist, Yangarra, S.C. Pannell et al that are changing minds.
Again, I ask – 29 for this? Buy some.
Best drinking: nowish to ten plus years. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.3%, $29. Dodgy Bros website. Would I buy it? Yes, obvs.
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