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2020 Tasting Notes

Varietal/s: Mataro, Grenache, Cinsault
GI: Barossa Valley
Alcohol: 14.5%
pH: 3.51
TA: 5.7 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.4 g/L


A blend of Mataro (67%), Grenache (27%) and Cinsault (6%). Each parcel was fermented with indigenous yeasts, and macerations varied from between 8 and 20 days. Maturation was in a combination of well-seasoned 600 and 1200 litre barrels and stainless steel. Only the Grenache component was fermented as whole clusters.

Growing Season:

The 2020 growing season and vintage conditions can be surmised as dry and low yielding.    Winter and spring rainfall was well below average and turbulent weather during the spring and early summer, particularly during the flowering, period further reduced the potential yield of the harvest. Weather over the harvest period was mild and very dry with yields being typically around 50% of what may be considered average.

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of cinnamon quill, sandalwood and warm roasted chestnut notes over lay ripe raspberry and liquored cherry fruit. Dark, savoury fruits dominate on a mid-weight palate. Blueberry spice and dark cherries, finishing with nutty and earthy tannins.

2018 Tasting Notes

 (Grenache  56%   Mataro 40%  Shiraz 4%)

2018 Esprit is composed of Grenache (51%) Mataro (40%) and Shiraz (4%) from five exclusive old vine vineyards located Ebenezer, Moppa and Eden Valley.   Vineyard ages range from between 65 and 160 years.  Soils range from skeletal, thin sandy soils to heavy red clays, elevations from 260 to 420 m asl.

All fruit was hand harvested. The proportion of whole clusters retained in the fermementations  varied from between nil and 50%, equating to about 35 % in the final blend.  Vinified with indigenous yeasts, macerations ranged from between 14 and 30 days prior to pressing and elevage on light lees in French oak barrels (all well seasoned, of 600 l and 1200 l), and a small portion being retained in stainless steel.   Bottled  11 months after harvest.    Unfined and unfiltered. Vegan friendly.


A perfumed, aromatically deep Barossa red displaying  a bright core of red cherry, tart raspberry, plum and tamarillo framed by both high toned dried rose petal and violet florals, and hazlenut, mace and blonde tobacco spice elements.

A medium weight and focussed palate that builds in weight and intensity in the mouth.  Spiced plum, rhubarb and cherry flavours on attack turn to darker fruits and savoury, fresh drying tannin and plum skin like acids.  Whilst strong and intense, the overall balance leans to levity, transparency of flavour and freshness.

2015 Tasting Notes

In 2015 we produced just 310 cases of Esprit. As a season 2015 delivered wines of measure and poise, displaying fine, detailed fruit aromatics and lively palates.

Sourced from five Barossa vineyards with ages ranging between 25 and 160 years, planted to varieties that have had a sympathetic home in the Barossa since vines were first introduced in the early to mid 1800s. With Esprit we are seeking a pure, finely structured expression of the Barossa. Key contributers in achieving this are vine age, a soil sympathetic to the variety and dedicated vineyard husbandry. Soils are poor, generally loamy sands sitting over varied parent material bases, and quartz shot red clays. All are unirrigated. Each vineyard and variety plays its part quietly in this blend, each contributing to the aromatic, flavour and structure of the wine.

All fruit was hand harvested and vinification was kept relatively simple. Around 30-60% of bunches were retained and fermented as whole clusters, dependant on variety and vineyard –being generally higher with theGrenache components. Fermentations were undertaken in small open stainless steel fermenters with indigenous yeasts and maceration times were generally between 12-30 days. Elevage on light lees was undertaken in a selection of thick staved 600 L demi muids prior to blending and finishing in a 2500 L foudre. Unfined and bottled without filtration.

Bright and ruby hued.

Complex, savoury, spice laden aromatics overlaying ripe red fruits – a pure expression of the Barossa. On first opening the Mataro leads, with sandlewood, cedar, wood smoke, soy, tobacco and hazelnut. The perfume of Grenache develops in the glass adding tart cranberry, tarragon, cassis, raspberry, lily and dried cherry aromatics over base notes of ink and black tea. Detailed and fine.

Youthful mid-weight palate, smoky, spiced red cherry and tart raspberry fruits are underlain by strong brown woody spices and tobacco leaf notes. Tannins are lightly iodine-like / ferrous, yet light, powdery and dry. Fresh, savoury, complex.

2014 Tasting Notes

Predominantly Grenache (91%) with Mataro (7% )and Cinsault (2%). Sourced from old vineyards on the northern, western and eastern edges of the Barossa Valley and from Moculta and Springton in Eden Valley. Vine ages range from 75 to over 150 years, all are dry grown. All vineyards are hand harvested, whole bunch inclusion averaged 45 % and macerations varied from between 8-18 days. Elevage was undertaken on light lees in seasoned demi-muid, foudres and stainless steel. Bottled without filtration.

Bright and ruby hued.

Perfumed aromatics – a pure expression of Grenache – rose water, lavender honey, white pepper, lilies, fresh cherries, cassis and raspberries. Subtle base notes of hazel nuts and black tea. Striking yet delicate, fine and feminine.

Youthful and un-evolved palate – strongly spiced cherry and tart raspberry fruits are underlain by sappy herbal notes of verveine and pomegranate – like acids. Fine, powdery dry tannins. Fresh and athletic.

2012 Tasting Notes

Brilliant bright garnet

Aromatics led by Grenache – high toned spiced red fruit – ripe raspberry, ripe cherry, smoky citrus oils and musk which hover above the more discreet notes of Indian ink, garrique, earthy woody spice and a warm vinosity. Aromatically fine, alluring, feminine.

Vibrant, youthful and fresh palate driven by a tangy herb infused line of red fruit – red currant, sour red plum, pomegranate and marjoram – that gains warmth and depth turning to tobacco, game, cedar and darker fruit to close. Pulpy, fleshy fruit is drawn long with plum skin acids and stony tannins.

3 reviews for Esprit

  1. admin

    Spinifex Barossa Valley Esprit

    James Suckling Tasting Report: New Barossa Shows Great Diversity, February 4th 2015

    One of the ultimate Barossa benchmarks, this is 78% grenache, 10% mataró, 6% cinsault, 4% shiraz and 2% carignan. The nose has fragrant red grenache fruits in abundance with attractive, sweet, musky, whole-bunch notes and a fine, spicy lift. Striking freshness here. The palate’s pared down to essence-like, red-fruit flavord wrapped tightly around a core of driving tannins. Captivating definition and detail. The Barossa doesn’t get much better than this. Drink in 2017.

    Country: Australia
    Region: South Australia
    Vintage: 2012
    Score: 95

  2. admin

    Spinifex Barossa Valley Esprit

    James Suckling

    Really beautiful and floral on the nose with dried flowers, as well as sage, highlighting the pretty berry character. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with lovely fruit and freshness. Linear center palate. A blend of 56% grenache, 40% mataro and 4% shiraz. Drink or hold. Screw cap.

    Country: Australia
    Region: South Australia
    Vintage: 2018
    Score: 96

  3. admin

    Spinifex Barossa Valley Esprit

    James Suckling

    Beautiful red berries and pomegranate with some citrus peel here too. The palate shows a supple, fleshy and very evenly wound feel to the tannin. Big-brushstroke tannins carry a long, flavorful finish. A blend of 70% grenache with cinsault and mataro. Drink or hole. Screw cap.

    Country: Australia
    Region: South Australia
    Vintage: 2019
    Score: 93

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