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The grapes for this wine are picked from a single estate vineyard from the Roennfeldt Road property at Marananga near Greenock, and are around 80 years old. The vines crop at 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes per acre and as with all Greenock Creek's vineyards the grapes are picked and kept separate to produce a single estate wine. They are picked on phenological ripeness and flavour at a baume range of 14 to 16º. This baume sometimes produces a naturally occurring high alcohol, although this will depend on seasonal conditions.
The grapes are fermented in large, shallow open fermenters, pumped over, chilled and pressed through a basket press. The free run and pressings are kept separate through maturation and blended back together one week before bottling. The wine is racked into barrel to undergo natural MLF. The oak is all French shaved out seasoned second-hand hogsheads, with the better barrels being used for the pressings. The wine is left to mature in barrels for a total of 12 to 15 months and is usually not filtered or fined prior to bottling.
Growing on an east facing slope, these ancient bush vines produce a limited amount of small berried bunches, intensely perfumed and with magnificent colour.
Notes from Philip White:
CORNERSTONE GRENACHE 2015 -15.5% alcohol We should not forget that this very old Grenache patch is part of the original Roennfeldt Vineyard. In spite of Grenache never being Michael's favourite variety, these vines were amongst the first of the bunch to push Grenache as an equal to more prestigious varieties. We did good having a vigneron so respectful of provenance in the face of instant fashion and fad. While he kept the price down, our winemaking stonemason called it Cornerstone from the start. Whatever his belief, Michael's always made a gorgeous drink from these ancient vines. All these wines are geotranslocators: they spirit me to particular places ... this one emerges through whitepepper and bitter cherry glacé ... a pickle for turkey or octopus ... then dangles me between the blue and white of Greece ... squeeze a bit more lemon on the lamb ... yeah, go on: there's enough acidity here to handle more lemon on the lamb ... This is not nutty, brittle, Pinot-like Grenache. This is all plush silky syrup. It's sensual and fleshy with no bones showing. Face cream. It has an illusion of sweetness and it's polished like a lacquered Japanese screen. It has prune purée and blueberry liqueur; framboise ... I dunno, now I'm thinking of tea-smoked duck with a sauce of soy, anchovy and onions. I wouldn't be able to talk much whilst I had this in my glass.
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