Summary: Black Barrel is Nicholas Crampton and Jim Zerella’s take on proudly traditional, full bodied wines with barrel aged complexity using the classic combination of old-vine vineyards, traditional open fermenters and partial maturation in high toast “black barrels”.
Vineyards: Sourced from established, low-yielding and dry-grown vineyards in Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale vineyards managed by Jim.
Winemaking: The fruit is hand-harvested and vineyard sorted before de-stemming and a traditional vinification in small two and three tonne open fermenters with regular hand plunging before partial maturation in three hundred litre, high toast American oka “black barrels” for six months.
Vintage 2017: 2017 saw a return to vintage conditions not commonly seen for over two decades. A very wet winter followed by a cool summer with few spikes of heat meant that vintage as up to a month later than what has been common recently. A dry and consistently moderate autumn ensured the fruit was able to ripen slowly in ideal conditions. This “throwback” vintage will become famed for the quality and elegance of the fruit.
Tasting Note: A deep brick colour is matched by an lifted and aromatic nose, densely packed with aromas of dark fruits, sweet smoked spice and cigarbox notes. The palate is supple and medium to full bodied, filling the mouth with blue fruits and boysenberries flavors highlighted by notes of savoury forest undergrowth and subtle spicy oak, all wrapped in fine tannins.