Charles Melton Nine Popes Barossa Valley 2016
Availability: 97 in stock
Aromas of sweet cinnamon and nutmeg spices greet you on the nose. Smooth, succulent and indulgent palate with fine tannin structure, great mouthfeel and savoury finish. Great Shiraz and Grenache flavour profile.
Charles Melton began winemaking at Krondorf Wines in 1974, followed by Saltram, then to Peter Lehmann Wines in 1979. In 1984 Charles and his wife Virginia established Charles Melton Wines in Tanunda, within the Barossa Valley. Charles (or Charlie, as he’s usually called) was pivotal in helping to recognise the value of old-vine plantings of grenache, shiraz and mourvèdre (in the famed GSM blend that originated in the Rhȏne Valley), at a time when shiraz in particular was falling out of favour with the wine-drinking public. Vineyards include 7ha at Lyndoch, 9ha in Krondorf, 1.6ha in Light Pass and over 30ha in High Eden (a subregion of Eden Valley), with most planted to shiraz, grenache and cabernet. A 5ha vineyard includes varieties most likely unknown to many wine drinkers, such as cinsault, picpoul, carignan and bourboulenc. In 2007, Charlie became one of the ‘Barons of the Barossa’, an organisation made up of individuals who’ve made an outstanding contribution to the Barossa Valley.
Each wine has an evocative name, such as ‘Grains of Paradise Shiraz’, ‘The Reformation Old Vine Grenache’, and ‘La Belle Mere.’ ‘Rose of Virginia’ is named in honour of Charlie’s wife, and it is classed by many as one of the best rosés in Australia. Charlie’s most popular and most lauded wine is a GSM blend known as Nine Popes, which was first made in 1988 and was the first GSM blend from the Barossa Valley. The name takes its inspiration from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation in the Rhȏne Valley where much GSM is produced, and which is close to the city of Avignon, the residence of Catholic popes from 1309-1377. Charlie also makes a dessert wine in the style of an Italian ‘vin santo’, called Sotto di Ferro, which translates as ‘under the iron’, due to the grapes being dried under a corrugated iron roof.
More information on Charlie’s superb wines can be found on his website.
A behemoth of a state, South Australia is responsible for over 50% of Australia’s wine production. With the first known planting here taking place in 1836, local vintners have had time to truly perfect their art. In fact, SA is also home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines on the planet, with around 38% of SA’s old vines being Shiraz.
Such a large area means that the terrain, climate and soil profiles vary immensely between regions, allowing for a vast array of varieties to thrive. Some of South Australia’s premier wine regions include; Barossa Valley, Mclaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and the Adelaide hills. Such a collection of prime wine regions has earned South Australia the grand title of Australia’s Wine Capital. But it doesn’t stop there, the prowess of SA wine producers mixed with fantastic growing conditions has garnered the state the privilege of being dubbed one of the 9 Great Wine Capitals of the World.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Europe was ravaged by an outbreak of Phylloxera, an aphid that injects a venom into the root of the vine while sucking out sap. The effect of the outbreak vastly influenced the global market. For example, France’s wine output decreased by over 40%, with the whole ordeal costing the country over 10 billion francs. Luckily for all, the grand ‘down-under’ remained a wine wonder, as the blight couldn’t take flight and reach the far away lands.