DONA [Latin] The Gift.
VARIETALS: Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre
Plums with some cherry & spice.
Soft round palate, with plums, red berries and earthiness.
Vintage 2015 came early and we were hand picking the first of our vineyards in the first week of February. The fruit advanced through 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.
The wine is a grenache shiraz mourvèdre blend. The nose is a fruit shop, an amazing mix of fruit smells, none to me definable. It sits pert at the front of the mouth, the acid straining to start the journey. Once the wine is moving, crisp flavours make their presence known. The wine lingers on the finish. It’s an adult’s wine and great at the table. 94 points and well worth $27. The Key Report
“Silky-smooth and rounded, this fabulous blend offers terrific fruit intensity, showing lifted aromas of dark plum, spiced cherry and blueberry compote with hints of cocoa and almond on the nose. The palate is juicy and flavoursome, and delivers lovely fruit flavours with subtle savoury complexity, finishing beautifully long and smooth. At its best: now to 2021.” 93 Points – Wine Orbit
“The thing i like most about this wine is it’s texture and general lightness on the palate. When i say lightness it doesn’t mean there is a lack of fruit, tannin or acid but that all parts of the wine work in concert to create a slinky, svelte texture. The nose gives lifted red cherry and gentle spice, with the palate having a plushness of red berry fruits but maintaining a savoury line of tannin and balanced acidity that takes the wine to a finish that is more in the dark fruit spectrum with a touch of charcuterie and spice. At a retail of $28 this is exceptional value. Optimal Drinking 2017 – 2024” 93 Points – Patrick Eckel Winereviewer.com.au
Previous Vintage Notes
Ulithorne DONA Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2014
Vintage 2014 was another small vintage for McLaren Vale. The quality of fruit is superb, and somehow a little more restrained and elegant than the 2013 vintage. Summer and Autumn offered long cooler days, which allowed for a longer maturation period and time for the grapes to ripen evenly and for natural acidity to build in line with the Baumé. After the brilliant flavours that the 2013 Grenache brought, the 2014 Grenache has all the restraint and gentleness that holds Grenache through the cellaring time. Shiraz in the vineyard looked and tasted of high quality, with smaller than normal berry sizes adding great fruit flavours from the berries and tannin from the skins. Overall another excellent vintage in McLaren Vale, with lower than average yields.
95 Points – Wine Companion
Ulithorne DONA Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2013
Vintage 2013 in McLaren Vale was brilliant; excellent winter rainfall, healthy flowering and even ripening throughout the spring and warm summer months allowed the fruit on our vines to build flavour and colour in perfect conditions. Summer was mild with cold nights, Vintage started slightly early. The Vineyards experienced a heat wave which increased the ripening rate at 12 Baume then followed by a cool week that helped the grapes to regain normal ripening. Then followed another mini heat wave which caused another jump and the fruit was ready to come in to the winery. Yields were slightly down due to the very dry spring and summer.
Tasting Notes 60% Grenache, 30% Shiraz, 10% Mourvedre. A new wine in the Ulithorne range; it was released May this year as the only wine so far with the new label. This wine allowed the winemaker the opportunity to build philanthropy into her work, as with each bottle purchased, a financial contribution from that purchase is made to a selected charity. This ties in with the Latin root for ‘Dona’, meaning ‘gift’.
Bright lifted fruits of rich cherries and plums. A very textural yet versatile wine, that has the ability to be matched with various foods or to even to enjoy on its own. It is a very pretty wine with a velvety and plush mouth-feel. Mild fine-grain tannins are felt on the mid palate, and has a herbaceous finish filled with rosemary and thyme undertones.
A combination of hand & machine harvesting, depending on the viticulture practices of each of the growers. Cold maceration followed by cool ferments over 10 days to allow lifted fruits & spices notes to remain. Aged separately for 12 months in 100% old French oak barrels. GSM blended & returned to barrel for 3 months for to assist flavor integration & natural lees settling.
“95 Points. A 60%/30/10% blend, cold-soaked and cool-fermented for 10 days, each component separately matured in used French oak for 12 months, then blended and matured for a further 3 months. Rose Kentish’s 4 vintages in France shows in this very good wine, with a generous supply of red and black fruits sewn together by exactly measured tannins. 14% alc. Drink 2028” – James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion Magazine, (Oct/ Nov 2014).
“94 Points. Rose Kentish’s experience in McLaren Vale and southern France shines in this beautifully varietal, characteristically regional and downright delicious blend. It’s an elegant, succulent expression of the raspberries, strawberries and red cherries of grenache, with subtle savoury spice and olive nuances characteristic of McLaren Vale. Tannins are finely textured, providing an air of sophistication to the supple approachability of grenache. Drink: 2014-2017” – Tyson Stelzer, Wine Taste Weekly Edition 157.
“Vibrant Cherry fruit – pretty and pure. Drives with great energy and vitality. Fine tannins in tow. Structure and yet smashable. Wicked.” Judges comments, Hot 100 Wines SA for 2014.
“It’s yummy and plummy with supporting cherry fruit, a good lick of spice, balanced oak and supple tannins.”
Illawarra Mercury, June 2014
“… little beauty that shows without fuss a mass of lovely, warm fruits wafting with fragrant notes of orange and fennel, textured with soft tannins and sticky mouth feel, appealing in its medium bodied drinkability and never straying from its sweet fruited rustic soul.” Tony Love, The Advertiser, June 2014
“Four-star/ 92 Points. At 60 per cent of the blend, fragrant, softy, fruity grenache plays the lead role in this lovely red. However, the shiraz component (30 per cent) fills out the palate, while mourvedre adds to the wine’s tannic backbone. The overall impression is of a gentle, easy-to-drink red with vibrant, juicy fruit (with a touch of spice) and soft but assertive tannins. Winemaker Rose Kentish worked four vintages in France and says she drew inspiration from southern Rhone Valley blends of these varieties – particularly in letting the fruit talk, and not burdening it with oak flavours.”
Chris Shanahan, Canberra Times, July 2014.
“Cherry and fruity, ripe and spicy, light and tasty. Easy to drink, a little cuddly and fleshy but still shows some crisp acidity and a little bite of tannin. Some sour/sweet in the mix too; a nice, refreshing crispness of fruit. It came a little quickly to the tasting table from the wine fridge but felt just right like that. Slurp up!” Mike Bennie, Winefront (June 2014)
“Deliver and push those plush, bright, ripe fruit characters and lifted aromatics. Sounds simple enough but again, Rose is able to work in extra layers of dark fruit and spice complexities to lift the quality versus price ration well above its quite modest price point” Jon Helmer, Surf Coast Times, July 2014.