Varieties: Grenache Tempranillo Malbec
Region: Clare Valley
Bottle size: 750 mL
Our twenty fourth release of The Fergus is named after our neighbour who was good enough to sell us his Grenache grapes in the vintage of 1993, during a desperate shortage of Shiraz and Cabernet. We quickly realised that a wine born from logistics had real potential as a medium, juicy style with both immediate and long term food compatibility. This wine has lifted red strawberry and cherry aromas and flavours of Tempranillo, with spiciness from Grenache and mid palate richness with plum and violet characters coming from Malbec. Ageing in older French oak hogsheads adds subtle, integrated perfume and toasted characters.
It is a luscious mouth filling wine with silky tannin that with careful cellaring may be kept for up to 15-20 years.
Robust old-vine Grenache grapes left in the vineyard to fully mature, were crushed onto fermented and drained skins of Tempranillo and fermented with selected yeast for one week. Selected tanks were then topped and closed for another week for extended maceration prior to pressing. A carefully considered amount of Tempranillo and Malbec was added for increased complexity and fruit expression. The wines were then racked, filtered and transferred to a mixture of older French oak hogsheads. The wine remained in oak for 24 months before blending, filtration and bottling under screwcap for freshness and authenticity.
The 2017 growing season was extremely wet, with some flooding in the Clare Valley in late September. However, the wet winter and cool spring provided the region with plenty of sub surface moisture which in turn has resulted in excellent quality and high yields.
The quality of the red varieties, is excellent, with perfect ripening and picking conditions, along with some of the largest crops we have seen for many years. In summary, the vintage was later than we have seen over the past few years, but quality and yields appear to be some of the best in a decade.
The Fergus nicely complements duck, turkey, lamb and spicy dishes.
The Fergus red blend has evolved over time and now includes tempranillo and malbec, dry-grown. Strong choc-mint characters matched to blackberry, plum and eucalyptus. It’s a hefty, hearty style with a sweet heart of fruit and a good chew of tannin too. $25? It’s the best release I’ve seen under this label. The value is high.
THE story of this Clare red is heart-warming,
but sad. Fergus began in 1993 when Tim
Adams had a desperate shortage red fruit.
His neighbour Fergus Mahon filled the gap by
providing Tim with grenache grapes. It was
a gesture earning him Tim’s firm friendship,
a place on the labels and grief when Fergus
died this year. Early Fergus wines were 100%
grenache but are now multi-varietal. This 2016
has 37% grenache, 37% tempranillo and 26%
malbec, 14% alcohol, garnet hues and potpourri
scents. The front palate shows juicy blackberry
flavour, middle-palate rhubarb, briar, licorice and
savoury oak and a spearminty tannin finish.
At timadamswines.com.au and the Warenda
Road and Dominic Street, Clare, cellars. Good
with lasagne and cellar for four years.
Gourmet Traveller Wine - Best Buys $25 and Under
1 March 2021
“A charming, finely balanced blend of grenache, tempranillo and malbec whose dusty fragrance of spicy red and blue berries reveals nuances of dark chocolate, mint, graphite and ironstone. It’s soft and medium-bodied, with a brightly lit core of juicy dark berries underpinned by a supple, loose-knit spine of powdery tannin. Just starting to reveal the beginnings of earthy, leathery development, it finishes long and minty”.