Willunga 100 is in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. The grapes come from a range of selected vineyards in McLaren Vale, including some over 80 years old. Winemaker Mike Farmilo joined the team as head winemaker in 2013 and is supported by Tim James. Together they aim to produce unique and distinctive wines which capture the essence of the region. They use modern equipment alongside traditional winemaking techniques to ferment the small parcels of fruit arriving at the winery. The term "hundred" originates from late Saxon and Norman England and refers to an administrative unit of government, meaning that 100+ households had to live in the area to qualify for its place on the map. Willunga 100 select their fruit from small parcels just as the district was divided up into '100s', or small lots.
Sandy soils provide lifted aromatics while darker soils including 'Terra Rossa' types contribute to rich, bold tannins. All the vineyards are managed to produce the highest quality possible with only the best parcels selected for Willunga 100. McLaren Vale has a warm Mediterranean climate with a strong cooling influence from the Gulf of Saint Vincent.
Spring and early summer in 2015 were quite warm and very dry. Crucially, the majority of January and early February were abnormally cool, which allowed the fruit character to develop steadily. The usual hot and very dry weather followed straight after. As a result, the vintage kicked off a week earlier than normal and was extremely fast and furious. While yields were reduced, the reds showed excellent fruit, colour and tannin. The final result was precise, fresh and vibrant red wines.
A combination of open fermenters and stainless steel pump-over tanks were used. Warm to hot fermentation temperatures, combined with regular pumping over and plunging ensured optimum extraction, whilst maintaining the delicate aromatics of the Grenache grapes. Timely pressing, only using the best press fractions ensured good quality of flavour and the favourable drying, sandy tannin structure. The wine was matured for 12 months, mostly in tank. Only a small amount of the wine was aged in older oak in order to retain purity of fruit, whilst still adding complexity and mid-palate richness. The wine is bottled under screwcap to maintain freshness and ensure longevity.
This is a splendid, perfumed, spicy expression of Grenache. With aromas of fresh red fruit and silky tannins on the palate, this wine has great substance and structure. It is well-balanced, with lingering hints of clove.