Origin: Barossa Valley, Australia
Grapes: Mataro 30%, Grenache 70%
Smalltown is a joint venture between noted Barossa winemaker Rolf Binder and Cambridge-based wine merchant Noel Young. Both Rolf and Noel have a passion for Rhône varietals and this comes through in their wines, which use fruit from 15 long-favoured sites in the premium northern Barossa, drawing on Rolf’s deep understanding of the area. Smalltown Vineyards is based on 42 hectares of prime sandy loam in the Barossa Valley’s premium Ebenezer District, specifically the highly sought-after Kalimna blocks producing world class reds. Working with other vineyard sites in the Barossa and Eden Valleys to express this uniquely magical corner of the world. Winemakers Rolf Binder and Christa Deans craft superb expressions of the region in their small, hands-on winery in Tanunda. We have a lot of fun with labels because, well because we can. It’s only wine after all…
Grenache (or Garnacha ) is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, where the grape most likely originated. It is also grown in the Italian island of Sardinia, the south of France, Australia, and California's Monterey AVA and San Joaquin Valley. As one of the original varieties planted in Australia, there are many vineyard sites, especially in McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley with Grenache vines dating back to the late 1800s.
In the early years Grenache was often relegated to fortified wine production and basic blends, but in recent years growers have recognised the beauty of the ripe, spicy, cherry and raspberry-scented characters that single-varietal Grenache can yield. Mourvèdre (also known as Mataro or Monastrell) is a red wine grape variety grown in many regions around the world including the Rhône and Provence regions of France, the Valencia and Jumilla denominaciones de origen of Spain, as well as the Balearic Islands, California and Washington and the Australian regions of South Australia and New South Wales, as well as South Africa. In addition to making red varietal wines, Mourvèdre is a prominent component in "GSM" (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) blends. The variety is also used to make rosé and port-style fortified wines.
With a rich vine and wine history dating back to 1842, the Barossa Valley is one of the most historic wine producing regions in Australia.here are sixth generation grape growing families in the region, custodians to Australia’s largest collection of old vines with blocks dating back to the 1840’s.
In recent years, traditional Barossa varieties like Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro have been joined by a new wave of Mediterranean varieties, suited to the region’s soils and climate. The region has also been invigorated by a new breed of winemakers who have challenged the status quo while still maintaining an inherent love and respect for the Barossa traditions and culture. The region has a Meditarranean climate ideal for full-bodied red wines, excellent fortified wines and generally robust white wines.
The climate ranges from warm on the valley floor to cool at the higher altitudes in the hills surrounding the Valley.
The region has a large diurnal temperature range, high maximum temperatures, high sunshine days and low humidity and rainfall.
Clovella is a field planting of roughly 70/30 Mataro and Grenache. It is a 40 year old vineyard from the Gomersal sub-district of the Barossa Valley that Rolf Binder and Noel Young have been cultivating themselves for many years.
The wine spends 22 months in older French oak. The purpose of this wine is to show Mataro and Grenache with some development rather than the super-juicy-young bright Grenache of the moment.