The sixty year old Shiraz vines from Greenock which are the source of Eleventh Hour were ready to be uprooted due to the lack of yields and the reluctance of wine companies to pay extra for the exceptional quality fruit. Following repeated requests by Massena for access to the grapes, the growers finally decided to stop the bulldozer and retain a small area of these vines at the eleventh hour
. For well informed cohorts of the Côtes du Rhône, think a warm season in Cornas
meets Maxime Graillot's Crozes Hermitage
from the splendid Domaine de Lises
On a brightly moonlit Tuesday evening at around eleven o'clock on the Barossa to Clare Valley road, two young blokes were cruising their way to work the midnight shift for the last vintage of the century, in an old, badly beat up Toyota Corolla. An accord was reached along the way, Massena can now source fruit from dry farmed, low yielding vines up to 120 years of aged, husbanded by dedicated growers in the north western Barossa districts of Greenock, Kalimna and Koonunga Hill. Each vineyard section is separately vinified in traditional open concrete fermenters. Components are aged in seasoned French oak barrels for sixteen months, moved to tank for several more before assemblage, bottled without fining or filtration.
Impenetrable deep, inky hue. Dense and brooding, dark red cherry and blackberry fruits supported by licorice, black pepper and hints of roasted Indian spice. The opulent palate is full of dark cherries, plum and rich chocolate with luscious Barossa plummy fruit sweetness. Its supple tannins and engaging acidity ensure the wine's ease in its youth, silken texture and velvet ripe tannins make Eleventh Hour perfect for a hearty serve of pork and bean cassoulet.