When I first tasted the 2018 vintage of this wine at the Australia Day tasting in 2020 I loved its elegance and I questioned that it was 100% Grenache as the alcohol was relatively low for Grenache at 12.8%. But it was 100% Grenache, as is this Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2021 vintage. The 60+ year old vines in the Fugazi vineyard produce low yields of very intensely flavoured grapes. After careful handling and minimal intervention wine-making they produce complex wine full of amazing perfumes and concentrated flavours. The 2021 is produced in the same style and is a big wine in terms of its heaps of flavour but I have categorised it as a Smooth Elegant Red because it manages to contain its power and display finesse with a silky mouthfeel. You will find new flavours in this wine with each mouthful, it is so multi-layered and it has a lovely, juicy, long finish.
Taras Ochota settled in Australia with his wife Amber after studying Oenology and travelling the world’s vineyards to learn everything he could from other winemakers. Back home he adopted a holistic approach influenced by small biodynamic producers and therefore the grapes are grown organically on old bush wines, grape picking decisions “made purely on natural acidity” and a particular focus on the wine’s texture. This latter comes from extended time on skins and batonnage. The aim is “to make wines with attention to detail that are real and pure”. After Tara’s sad death in 2019, Amber continues the legacy and Ochota Barrels wines including The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache have become iconic wines.