2020 Ochota Barrels, Grenache “The Green Room” McLaren Vale, South Australia.
Much the same as last year’s version the low alcohol and naturally styled Ochota Barrels Grenache The Green Room delivers lots of drinking pleasures with its pretty and juicy red fruits, led by crushed raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate, plum and morello cherries, along with spicy and herbal notes, with a hint of earth, anise and a touch of whole bunch zestiness, mineral and floral tones. At just 11.2% natural alcohol this 2020 vintage is infinitely quashable and refreshingly bright in personality with supple medium bodied, not exactly what you’d expect from old vines in the historic old vine region of McLaren Vale, but oh so delicious and lovable. Sadly we lost the revolutionary winemaker Taras Ochota last year, after the 2020 harvest, but Amber Ochota, his wife will continue on, inspired by his life band passion, from their home on a tiny and steep sloped patch of land deep in the Basket Range of the beautiful Adelaide Hills wine region, where they have farmed and make some of the most intriguing Australian wines over the last decade. The Ochota wines were inspired by small family domaines that handcraft biodynamic wines in the south of France. like in parts of the Languedoc and the Luberon and the wines are made with native yeasts, with loads of whole cluster and ultra low sulfur to allow the grapes and vineyard sites to express themselves in their most natural and pure form. This vibrant and expressive Grenache, in true Glou Glou fashion is a perfect wine to enjoy with friends and great with simple meals and is tasty with a slight chill, making it great with picnics, BBQ and sunset quaffing.

The vividly ruby hued Ochota Barrels “The Green Room” Grenache Noir comes from classic old bush vines planted back in 1946 on a combination of schist and limestone in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia and was lovingly hand crafted using lessons learned over twenty years and inspired by small biodynamic wines in southern France with native yeasts, whole bunches and ultra low sulfur to allow the grapes to express themselves in their most natural and pure form. The Ochota Barrels story began, as legend has it and noted in my earlier reviews, on a surf trip, in late 2000 when the world traveling couple, Taras and Amber, were trekking along the west coast of Mexico in a Volkswagen fried-out Kombi (camper van), yes, like The Men at Work song. As they enjoyed the waves, sunsets and the remote nature of the peninsula, they thought about what was going to be their next big adventure and hatched a plan to make what they hoped would be a generation of beautiful holistic wines back home in South Australia. After, what Taras called, a misspent youth playing a Rickenbacker bass in various punk bands, he found wine, and he got an oenology degree from Adelaide University, one of the most prestigious wine schools in the world and made wine in France, Sicily and here in California, notably working for Kunin, Bonnacorsi, Arcadian, Schrader, Outpost and Hitching Post. The whole wine world is still morning the loss of Taras Ochota, who passed too young, at age 49 back in October of 2020, and we are all rooting for Amber, who just finished, with the help of friends and family her first crush without Taras, and I look forward to her future releases.
($38 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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