Charles Melton Nine Popes 2018
Charles Melton's Nine Popes is a nod to the great wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is as rich, powerful and beautifully balanced as the best examples from the Rhône in France. Almost a permanent feature in Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines. The Grenache (50%) in the blend comes from old bush vines in the Barossa, many of which are over 80 years old. The Mourvèdre (2%) is also from a small parcel of bush vines in the Eden Valley, whilst the Shiraz (48%) is trellis grown. The blend is made up primarily of grapes from Charles Melton's prime vineyards plus some from the vineyards of a small number of trusted partner growers. None of the vineyards are irrigated, they are all dry grown. This coupled with the low yielding old vines leads to great concentrations of flavour in the grapes. Charlie uses a range of different techniques in the production of the Nine Popes. Both whole bunch and whole berry fermentation is completed and temperatures are kept cool. The wine is aged on lees for 24-28 months in French oak, of which 60% is new oak. The wine is then naturally settled and bottled without fining. Nine Popes is deep red in colour with a floral bouquet. The palate is structured and spicy with sweet red fruit and floral flavours which will develop further over time. It is rich and complex in the Popes tradition.