Willunga 100 is in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. The grapes for the wines come from a range of selected vineyards in McLaren Vale, including some over 80 years old. Winemaker Mike Farmilo joined the team as head winemaker in 2013 and is supported by Tim James. Together they aim to produce unique and distinctive wines which capture the essence of the region. They use modern equipment alongside traditional winemaking techniques to ferment the small parcels of fruit arriving at the winery. The term "hundred" originates from late Saxon and Norman England and refers to an administrative unit of government, meaning that 100+ households had to live in the area to qualify for its place on the map. Willunga 100 select their fruit from small parcels just as the district was divided up into '100s', or small lots.
The Grenache for The Hundred comes from Sue Trott's vineyard located at an altitude of 180 metres in the Blewitt Springs sub-region. These vines are dry grown and some of the oldest in the district, planted some 80 years ago. Soils here are the distinctive ancient sandy soils only found in Blewitt Springs with an underlying clay and ironstone base. The vines are planted on an easterly facing slope with magnificent views over McLaren Vale and out to sea. The mediterranean climate of the McLaren Vale has warm sunny days with sea breeze influences from the nearby Gulf of St Vincent - perfect for ripening the grapes whilst maintaining a crisp, clean acid structure.
Heavy winter rainfalls replenished groundwater reserves for the dry and windy spring that followed. Hot January conditions were similarly relieved by by a deluge in early February. This aided the vines after the unseasonably hot start to the year, and minimal splitting of the berries was observed. Cool weather in the late summer made for a more even and constant ripening period.
Hand-picked fruit was open fermented at high temperatures with regular pump-overs and plunging to ensure optimum early extraction, reduced towards the end of the ferment to maintain the delicate aromatics of the Grenache. Timely pressing ensured good quality of flavour and a fine tannin structure. No oak was used in the ageing process but the wine was left on its lees to emphasise the intense aromatic profile of the Grenache, producing a perfumed, fruit forward, juicy style Grenache.
The wine has lovely delicate floral and red berry aromatics, with a roundness and richness from the lees ageing that works in harmony with the finer tannins and cherry spice notes on the palate.
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