Back Vintages – Ulithorne CHI

Vintage 2015

CHI –  Life force, balance.

VARIETALS: Shiraz, Grenache

Tasting Notes
Dark berries, with some vanilla & some dries herbs
Firm tannins, savoury dark fruit with plums, mulberries & cherries.
Balanced palate with good length and weight.

Vintage 2015
Vintage 2015 came early and we were hand picking the first of our vineyards in the first week of February. The fruit advancedthrough ripening in late Spring, after a longer than usual flowering period. A cooler January allowed the fruit to hang through the cool phase and build in flavor and ripeness. As soon as the sun warmed up the ground and surrounding air again in early February, the vines built final ripeness and the berries hung ready for picking.

Photo credit – 5thvine

Previous Vintage Notes

Ulithorne ‘CHI’ Grenache Shiraz 2013
80% Grenache and 20% Shiraz. Produced using 98-year-old dry grown bush vine Grenache. The European weight of wine comes from old bush vines & watchful viticulture & vinification techniques.

This wine is about showing the elegance that an old bush vine Grenache can bring to the table. With wild strawberries and raspberries on the nose, and a lightness of bright cherries and spice on the palate, the flavours are balanced with soft tannins. This wine is ideal wine with Mediterranean meat dishes. There is a European style to the weight of this wine, which comes from old bush vines, thoughtful viticulture & a dedication to detail in the vinification techniques. Available under natural super premium hand select cork or screw cap.

Savoury cherries, a hint of plums and cigar box spices. Soft and balanced savoury tannins on the back palate.

Grenache Vineyard: Ingoldby Road, McLaren Flat
Shiraz: Old Ulithorne Vineyard, Upper Penney’s Hill Rd, Onkaparinga Hills, South Australia
Region/GI: McLarenVale, South Australia

Technical Notes
Grenache hand picked 6th March 2013
Shiraz hand & machine Harvested 10th March 2013.
Ferment: Grenache cooled as whole bunches overnight, crushed then fermented in small open fermenters with hand plunging twice a day. Basket Pressed. Natural malo-lactic in barrel. Shiraz treated similarly though kept separate until final blending.
Both varieties aged in older French oak barrels for 14 months to mature well, but without oak influence on flavour.
Bottled – 26th June 2014
Release Date – 28th Feb 2015

Suggested food pairings: ideal with robust, hearty Mediterranean meat dishes, tea smoked duck and pork belly.

“Provides that illusive combination of rich fruits and spicy, bright mouthfeel and aftertaste”. James Halliday 2015, 94 Points.

“Its beautifully presented, as is the wine itself. Liquorice, red/black berries and crackles of assorted dry spices. It’s fresh and lively, sweet and savoury all at once. A charming drink.” Campbell Mattinson, Winefront, April 2015, 92 points.

“Savoury and sophisticated with red berry and plum fruit melding harmoniously with its spicy characters and fine tannins” Kerry Skinner, Illawarra Mercury March 2015.

“Bright crimson and features tobacco leaf scents. Sweet, ripe blood plum flavour homes in on the front of the palate and the middle palate introduces raspberry, mocha coffee, cloves and nutty oak characters. The finish has terrific tannins” John Lewis, Newcastle Herald, March 2015.

“Dark Cherry and blackberry fruit on the nose and palate, with some spicy aok and long, fine tannins on the finish. You could try it now with beef or lamb dishes with a Mediterranean influence of tuck away for several years” Mike Frost, Courier Mail, Qld March 2015, 94 points.

94 Points, Mike Bennie & Tyson Stelzer.
94 Points, WBM Trade May 2015.
94 Points, Aspire Magazine

Ulithorne CHI Grenache Shiraz 2012


80% Grenache, 20% Shiraz

Onkaparinga Hills, South Australia (Old Ulithorne Vineyard)

Technical notes
2012 Vingate: Grenache hand picked 2nd March 2012. Shiraz hand & machine harvested 28th February 2012. Ferment: Grenache cooled as whole bunches overnight, then fermented in small open fermenters with hand plunging twice a day. Basket pressed. Natural malo-lactic in barrel. Shiraz treated similarly though kept separate until final blending. Both varieties aged in very old French oak barrels for 12 months maturation, not oak flavour influence. Bottled in February 2013 and released February 2014.

Typical analysis

Alcohol: 15.3%
pH: 3.52
TA: 5.8 g/lt
VA: 0.73 g/lt  

Tasting notes

This wine is about showing elegance and richness of flavor and a lightness on the palate, without the sweet ‘jubie-ness’ that is often associated with ripe Grenache. This wine shows the spicy spectrum that both these varieties can exhibit when fully ripened in the McLaren Vale area. Ripe plum, maraschino cherry and cigar box fill the palate. Spicy fragrance, smokiness and oak on the finish, and soft and balanced savoury tannins on the back palate. European weight of wine comes from old bush vines & watchful viticulture & vinification techniques.


Awarded Best Grenache Blend at the South Australian Wine of the Year Awards (2012).

“Juicy fruit and spice box notes. Delicious combination Raspberry and plum, cigars and dry woody spices… Nothing oaky or overdone here. Good drinking to be had.” 91 Points.
Campbell Mattinson, Winefront (July 2013)

“Old vine shiraz provides the backbone, while the lifted notes of Grenache provide the light touches to the palate and the nose. The Shiraz doesn’t overshadow the Grenache with its spicy lightness of touch. An earthy character with the elegance of the classic GSM blends. Lighter weight on the palate is ideal with food.” 93 points.
Ray Jordan, The Weekend West Australian

Scored 94 points featured as one of the Top 100 most outstanding wines of the month in WBM Trade (October 2013)

2010 Ulithorne CHI Grenache Shiraz (51%/49%)   14.5% alc  
Tasted May 2017:  Colour/Appearance: Appearance and colours again very good.
Straight away you notice the reversal of grape varieties as being Grenache dominate, even by a single %.
Lovely lifted maraschino cherry nose, dark elements of oak, jams, cherry stone notes with a wonderful freshness and vitality with a dry pointed red fruit finish.
For a medium bodied wine its quite weighty. Grenache on the nose with shiraz on the palate.

2007 Ulithorne CHI Shiraz Grenache (67%/33%)    14.5% alc 

Tasted May 2017:  Colour/Appearance: Holding up very nicely.
Aromas suggesting shiraz dominance. Oak dominating however the fruit is very dense and weighty. Edges of green herbs and moss like forest floor notes gliding through the palate with a mix of red and brown spiced notes, plum, prune stone and then a fresh red plum note that follows through to the finish which is quite long and juicy. Tannin balance is very good, likewise the overall freshness.
It’s solid wine that suggests it’s still has a number years in it but needs a good decant.
It needs a dense dark meat dish to pair with.
Longevity: 5+ years