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Ochota Barrels The Price of Silence 2021


100% Gamay. The Ochota story began in 2000, Taras and Amber Ochota had been traveling around some of the world’s best wine and surf regions and decided they wanted to make premium wines back home in South Australia. The initial plan was to concentrate on Grenache in Mclaren Vale and Syrah in the Barossa Valley, find exceptional old vineyard sites in each region and create juicy, small-batch, single-vineyard wines. They now also farm some interesting older plots in the Adelaide Hills, with old bush vines producing small berries and low yields. They take a holistic approach in the vineyard, the small biodynamic producers they met in the south of France have been a huge influence. A hands-off, minimum-intervention approach to winemaking: picking early to maintain natural acidity, ferments using indigenous yeasts, whole-bunch pressing the whites, whole-bunch fermentation, and longer maceration for the reds. The texture is an important focus, mouth-feel is created via time on skins and batonnage. Aging is in old French oak, just a touch of sulfur is used at bottling. The wines are mouthwatering, they have compelling energy and nervous tension. In Taras' own words "We just want to produce something delicious and gorgeous for all of us to enjoy with none of the nasties and more of the love".Taras Ochota died suddenly in 2020. He was a huge talent, a friend to many, and will be sorely missed. His wife Amber and the Ochota team are continuing the project. For the 2021 vintage, Amber worked with their long-time assistant winemaker Louis Schofield to craft wines that bear the stamp of his toil. This is a beautifully delicate yet juicy number made from three separate clones of Gamay all planted on the same vineyard back in 1985. After a few years as Gamay, the vines were grafted to Chardonnay, Taras helped the Piccadilly Valley grower cut the Chardonnay back and re-graft Gamay. Chainsaws in the vineyard. A few years later we have this wine. Overall, this is a curious, intense wine, that demands your attention. Some medicinal notes on the nose, along with pomegranate and redcurrant, the palate is nonetheless glorious and fine, long and detailed. The fruit is dense and yet the wine is light. Those savory, bitter notes hang around and remind you that this wine is not to be trifled with. It's time to raise a glass to Taras and these fabulous wines!

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