Nine Popes 2016
Charles Melton Wines. Barossa Valley. South Australia.
Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre.
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Charles Melton var en af pionererne i Barossa Valley, og var blandt de første til at se kvaliteterne i de gamle vinsorter Grenache, Shiraz og Mourvedre. Hvor mange andre vinbønder erstattede de traditionelle vinstokke med andre mere populære vinsorter for den tid, værnede nogle få vinbønder, heriblandt Charles Melton, om de traditionsrige vinsorter.
Derfor råder Charles Melton også i dag over vinstokke, der er langt over 100 år gamle, blandt andet de gamle Barossa Valley Grenache bush vines, Eden Valley Mourvèdre bush vines og Shiraz vinstokkene anvendt i denne signaturvin Nine Popes. De lavtydende gamle vinstokke kombineret med dry grown vinmarker giver en fantastisk intensitet i druerne og resultatet er en GSM i den absolutte superliga.
Noter fra vinmageren
The 2016 Nine Popes was given a final polish in 100% new French oak puncheons for 60% of the blend. This wine to wood ratio has the effect of giving an almost gossamer-like dusting of new oak to the wine, rather than a solid hit which is exactly how we want it for the Popes. A deepish colour but not black, as is typical of Grenache wines. There is some real tar and roses complexity and a little hint of Eden Valley ironstone. This is a structured, spicy Popes that will sweeten and flower with time and remain rich and plush in the Popes tradition.Mid to deep red with just a hint of amber edge, typical of Grenache. The initial aromatic is showing less Mediterranean garrigue and herb but more of sweet talc and salted caramel perfume. Some nice sweet cedar adds complexity but the 2015 vintage is less wild gypsy and more almost pinot like sweet red fruits.
Displaying the characteristics of the 2015 vintage, more fluidity plumper and open weave in texture. Similar to 2005 or 2009 but with less masculinity and a little more finesse.
V I N T A G E
A dry season from the get-go. Winter rain was a bit below average and spring rain was virtually non-existent. Some warmth through to Christmas and into the new year. The saving grace for the vintage came in late January with falls totalling 40mm over a 12 day period, leading into the start of harvest. They proved invaluable in freshening and balancing the fruit flavours.
S T Y L E
The 2016 Nine Popes was given a final polish in 100% new French oak puncheons for 60% of the blend. This wine to wood ratio has the effect of giving an almost gossamer-like dusting of new oak to the wine, rather than a solid hit which is exactly how we want it for the Popes. A deepish colour but not black, as is typical of Grenache wines. There is some real tar and roses complexity and a little hint of Eden Valley ironstone. This is a structured, spicy Popes that will sweeten and flower with time and remain rich and plush in the Popes tradition.
V I N I F I C A T I O N
Nine Popes is vinified with a couple of key objectives in mind. We use both whole bunch fermentation and destemmed but uncrushed berries during the maceration period, to ensure the
greatest degree of fragrance along with cool fermentation temperatures and careful cap management to gain the silky texture and density that the Popes is known for. “Sur Lie” ageing in French oak for the whole 24-28 month maturation period adds additional mouthfeel and smoothness. The wine is then naturally settled and bottled without any finings whatsoever.
Grenache 50% Alc: 14.5
Shiraz 48% TA: 5.22 g/L
Mourvèdre 2.0% pH: 3.55
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Om Charles Melton Wines
Anbefalet af selveste Henschke, der bl.a. står bag en af Australiens mest ikoniske vine Hill Of Grace, er Charles Melton Wines et sted, der byder på noget helt særligt. Charles Melton Wines er et mindre dry grown winery beliggende i Barossa Valley ejet af winemaker Charles Melton og hans kone Virginia. Stedet er usandsynligt smukt og idyllisk og producerer nogle fantastiske vine.
Since the first vintage of Charles Melton Wines in 1984, this small Barossa Valley winery has gained both national and international recognition for its fine red table wines.
The wines move from a light red, ‘The Rose of Virginia’ through to Australia’s premier Rhone-style red, ‘Nine Popes’. Charlie Melton also makes small quantities of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sparkling Shiraz, and is the only Australian producer of a vin-santo styled dessert wine, Sotto di Ferro.
Charlie was one of the first to recognize the value and tradition of the Barossa’s old vineyard Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. At a time when others were pulling out vineyards of Shiraz to plant more fashionable varieties, Charlie was convincing farmers to keep their historic vineyards. He was one of a small group of winemakers who helped retain the viticultural heritage of the Barossa.
Who is Charles Melton?
To cut a long story short …A boy from Sydney named Graeme Melton, arrived in the Barossa Valley in 1973. Graeme and a mate needed jobs to fix their broken-down EH Holden ute to continue their road trip across Australia. There were two jobs going – one as a cellarhand at a local winery called Krondorf, and another pruning at a vineyard down the road. They flipped a coin – Graeme got the cellarhand job.
At Krondorf he met Barossa winemaking legend Peter Lehmann (at the time, chief winemaker for the Dalgety group, Stonyfield and Saltram), and moved with Peter when he set up his new winery 6 years later. Lehmann refused to call his protégé “Graeme”, hence “Charlie” was born – and has stuck!
Just to speed this up a bit… During the next 10 years, ‘Charlie’ honed his winemaking skills under Lehmann – and met his wife-to-be, Virginia. Fast enough? In that time, he also travelled to France, and developed the beginnings of what would become a life-long passion for the wines of the Rhone Valley – in particular the Southern Rhone region where Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre are blended with up to 11 other varieties, as in the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation.
In 1984, Charlie purchased his first grapes to be made under the new “Charles Melton” label – and produced a Sparkling Red from old vines dry-grown in the Barossa. He soon splashed out again – this time purchasing 13 acres of Grenache and Shiraz. At that time, he also built the cellar door (“the barn”) and winery which still stands today on Krondorf Road, just outside Tanunda, in the valley of Barossa, in the state of South Australia.