J. S. RASCH VIN & SPIRITUS
J. S. Rasch wine and colonial trade has been selling the good things in life since 1807. The current ownership goes back 2 generations.
McLaren Vale – Paxton Vineyards
The wine “Queen of the Hive” is intended as a salute to all the queen bees. Paxton Vineyards puts it this way: “Queen of the Hive produces the bees that have a vital role in maintaining natural balance and eco-health in our world. Bees keep plants and crops alive through pollination and without bees, humans would struggle to survive. Bees only survive and thrive in chemical free environments, hence why our certified biodynamic, estate vineyards in McLaren Vale are home to so many bee hives and their powerful, tireless Queens. To all the Queens we salute you!”
The wine is a so-called “Red Blend”, and 2020 is composed of selected bunches of Grenache (49%), Shiraz (46%), Tempranillo and Graciano from the property’s best parcels. The grapes undergo a spontaneous fermentation with the grapes’ own yeast cells in small French wooden barrels (separately according to grape variety) with little stirring. The wines then undergo malolactic fermentation and maturation for 12 months in the same wooden barrels. The blending of the wines from the different grape varieties takes place immediately before bottling (without filtering).
2020 brought many challenges to vineyards in most areas of Australia with one of the worst droughts of the growing season and devastating bushfires during the summer. Fortunately, McLaren Vale escaped the fires and even before the harvest it was clear that 2020 will be a very exciting vintage, with a small yield but healthy and highly concentrated grapes. Shiraz and Grenache were very full of flavor and with great typicality for the varieties, without too high a content of tannin and alcohol. Temparanillo and Graciano showed splendid nuances of plum and pepper.
A wine with good fruit, complexity, velvet and charm. A very promising wine which will win in harmony and charm over the next 1-5 years. Served with duck, lamb and beef as well as wild game.
Paxton Vineyards in McLaren Vale was founded in 1979 by David Paxton, who is today regarded as one of the most accomplished winegrowers in Australia. For many years they produced grapes which were sold on to other companies, and only in 2000 did they launch a Paxton Shiraz (1998) under their own name. At the same time, David Paxton’s son, Michael, finished his education as a winemaker and agronomist, and he then became part of the team. The philosophy has been clear from the start: the wines should express the typicality of the grapes, the diversity of the area and the potential and character of each vineyard, which i.a. led to a switch to biodynamic production. (NASAA Reg. No. 5364P).
Today, Paxton Vineyards owns and cultivates a total of 80 ha. vineyards distributed in McLaren Vale and in the Barossa Valley, which provides good diversity in terms of climate and soil conditions. The grape variety Shiraz is the most important, but they also grow i.a. Grenache, Cabernet, Tempranillo, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. David Paxton and his team use both traditional and more innovative cultivation methods, where, among other things, selects clones that give a low yield but in turn higher quality. Irrigation is a necessity on several of the vineyards, but the process is carefully controlled, e.g. with drip irrigation, so that the yield is also limited.
McLaren Vale is a wine region just a few kilometers south of the city of Adelaide in South Australia. Wine has been produced here since the 19th century, but it is only in recent years that the area has really been discovered on the export markets. McLaren Vale is particularly known for its dark Shiraz wines, but wines are also produced from other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Merlot. Many of the smaller producers sell a large proportion of their wines at farm sales to the many tourists from Adelaide who frequently visit the area.
Although the distance to the sea is only 10-15 km. and thus providing a certain cooling influence, McLaren Vale is an extremely hot area where viticulture is a challenge. Without irrigation it would therefore be impossible to grow wine here. The soil varies somewhat in the different sub-districts; Sellicks Foothills, Blewitt Springs, Seaview, Willunga and McLaren Flat, and so do the styles of the wines.