Producer Charles Melton
Region Australia, SA, Barossa Valley
Variety 50% Grenache, 48% Shiraz, 2% Mourvèdre
Serving temperature 18/20°C
Pairing beef, pasta, lamb, game (venison, deer)
The 2016 Nine Popes was given a final polish in 100% new French oak puncheons for 60% of the blend. This wine to wood ratio has the effect of giving an almost gossamer-like dusting of new oak to the wine, rather than a solid hit which is exactly how we want it for the Popes. A deepish colour but not black, as is typical of Grenache wines. There is some real tar and roses complexity and a little hint of Eden Valley ironstone. This is a structured, spicy Popes that will sweeten and flower with time and remain rich and plush in the Popes tradition.
Vinification Nine Popes is vinified with a couple of key objectives in mind. We use both whole bunch fermentation and destemmed but uncrushed berries during the maceration period, to ensure the greatest degree of fragrance along with cool fermentation temperatures and careful cap management to gain the silky texture and density that the Popes is known for. “Sur Lie” ageing in French oak for the whole 24-28 month maturation period adds additional mouthfeel and smoothness. The wine is then naturally settled and bottled without any finings whatsoever.
Since the first vintage of Charles Melton Wines in 1984, this small Barossa Valley winery has gained both national and international recognition for its fine red table wines.
The wines move from a light red, ‘The Rose of Virginia’ through to Australia’s premier Rhone-style red, ‘Nine Popes’. Charlie Melton also makes small quantities of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sparkling Shiraz, and is the only Australian producer of a vin-santo styled dessert wine, Sotto di Ferro.
Charlie was one of the first to recognize the value and tradition of the Barossa’s old vineyard Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro. At a time when others were pulling out vineyards of Shiraz to plant more fashionable varieties, Charlie was convincing farmers to keep their historic vineyards. He was one of a small group of winemakers who helped retain the viticultural heritage of the Barossa.