2018 vintage was superb. Winter was slightly wetter than average getting the vines off to a brilliant start leading them into Spring which was warmer and drier than average. Rain in early December refreshed the vines and ensured they remained strong and healthy for the overall dry and hot Summer. Autumn also remained dry with perfect Autumnal temperatures leading into harvest. The 2018 yields are good and the quality is excellent, a classic Barossa vintage.
The Grenache comes from a 4-acre single vineyard block planted in the early 1900s. These vines are dry-grown, producing grapes of intense favour. The vineyard soil on the block is shallow sand over sandstone at the top end of the block, with sandy loamy soil over red clay at the bottom end of the block. Yields are about 1 to 1.5 tons to the acre. The Shiraz and Mourvédre blocks are similar in soil profiles to the Grenache block with the addition of quartz and iron stone. Each block has its unique features that result in additional layers of complex in the finished wine.
The Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvédre blocks were harvested from March 7th through to April 4th. All varieties were fermented separately in open top fermenters with hand pump-overs twice a day during fermentation. After seven to fourteen days on skins the fermented grapes were traditionally pressed. To preserve the superb fresh fruit flavours of the Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvédre, wines were only aged in very old French oak hogsheads for up to 24 months. On completion of maturation, components were blended for balanced flavour, texture and complexity and allowed time to full integrate prior to bottling.
2018 Union Street GSM is vivid purple in colour. Amazingly lifted and bright, there are bountiful aromatics of dark plum, violet, ripe raspberry, musk, sarsaparilla, cinnamon and a touch of dried herbs. The palate is generous and mouth-filling. It is well rounded with lavish flavours of ripe berries, dark fruits and a trace of milk chocolate. There are engaging fine natural tannins giving a seamless and elegant structure. An alluring radiance of fruit purity prevails throughout, with barrel maturation adding complexity and softness. Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvédre all work in harmony together delivering a layered wine of ample flavour, splendid structure and a lingering finish. Union Street GSM is an approachable, fruit-driven GSM that can be enjoyed now or over the next 5 to 8 years.