A surf trip to California in 1999, supported by some winery work with his winemaker uncle on the central coast, turned Shaun Crinion’s fledgling interest in wine into a lifelong obsession. Over that time, his winemaking philosophy has evolved into a light-handed approach of minimal intervention and scant addition, focusing on the pure expression of site and fruit – ‘I’m a traditionalist, hands-on winemaker and I like it that way.’ With that confidence of direction, Shaun started his own venture in 2009, ‘with the view to make high quality unadulterated wines from special patches of dirt at realistic prices.’
A blend of Upper and Lower Yarra vineyards; Clones P58, I10V1 and Dijon clones 76 and 95. All fruit was hand-picked and cooled overnight. Whole bunches were lightly crushed by foot before a long pressing, with the un-sulphured juice transferred straight to barrels. The oak was a combination of old (80%) and new (20%) French barriques, puncheons and demi-muids. Ferments are always allowed to start naturally, and complete without temperature control. There was no battonage, but the wine was left on lees for 10 months. Some MLF may have occurred, but it was not encouraged. The wine was bottled by gravity un-fined but lightly filtered.
It might be the best $30 you can spend in wine right now. Beautifully packaged, beautifully styled, beautifully flavoured. Complex, smoky, ripe, flinty, pure and long. It has much going on, but the recommendation is simple. Matchsticks flung in the direction of grapefruit and peaches. A gentle, gentle milky-creaminess. Just so good. Tasted: Aug 19; Alcohol: 13%; Price: $30; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2020-2027; Rated: 95 Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
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