Paul Carpenter’s love of Grenache was evident the first time I met him in 2011 and he’s already got runs on the board with Wirra Wirra’s The Absconder and Original Blend wines. Longline is his own small venture and damn this is an impressive debut. Sourced from two blocks planted in the 1950′s. A small parcel incorporating 20% whole bunches from Clarendon next to the undulating Hickinbotham vineyard (one of my favourite areas of the Vale for Grenache) with the rest taken off a block next to Chapel Hill. Both dry grown bush vines. The former has “lots of spice, not huge weight” and the latter contributes “power”.
Sensual gear. Medium-bodied and silky with terrific depth, steady acidity and admirable tannic grunt of the sandy kind. Great form and mouthfeel. Dark cherries over brambly characters, raspberries and hints of blue fruit. Rain on asphalt perfume. Has a strong, savoury earthen component and a little char grilled meat. Licorice and a smattering of dried herbs for further complexity. Liberal pepper and no real oak static. Minor warmth on the finish but you’d have to be sensitive for that to significantly detract from the experience. So fresh yet extremely vinous. Crazy value. Has the potential to improve in the cellar. 94
Region: McLaren Vale
Tasted: November 2013