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2020 Old Quarter

2020 Old Quarter

An elegant, perfumed blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro from the Old Quarter of the Alkina vineyard, planted in the 1950s. This is a pure expression of the character of the site that we arrived at by splitting it into its constituent geological parts before blending to find beauty, character and harmony.

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/ Case of 6

Estate grown and made

Certified organic and biodynamic fruit

60% Grenache, 20% Shiraz, 20% Mataro

150 cases and 100 magnums produced

13.8% alcohol

Tasting Notes
2020 Old Quarter is a worthy follow-up to the inaugural 2019 vintage. With Grenache in the lead (60%) the wine shows classic lifted red fruit and floral aromatics but there are layers there too, with wilder elements and distinct minerality. On the palate we love this wine to have a velvet texture, again a characteristic of the Polygon 4 Grenache grown on fractured clay. The fruit is deep but not sweet and the tannin builds, leading to a long, savoury finish. As always, the goal of our blending was to find beauty, detail, the character of the Old Quarter, and harmony across the components.
Vineyard Notes
The characteristics of Old Quarter from 2020 are underpinned by the intense Grenache from Polygon 4 which is planted on hard, fractured clay with a little schist. It makes up 60% of the blend. We did not include Polygon 2 Grenache in 2020 (as per 2019). The P4 was blended with the Mataro from P6 (20%) and the Shiraz from P8 and P7 (15%) plus some declassified Polygon 1 Shiraz (5%). NASAA certified organic and biodynamic.


“The old quarter is your classic blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro drawn from numerous blocks planted in the 1950s which are certified organic and biodynamic. It’s a hearty and savoury example of the blend which shows a beautifully perfumed start with its bright garnet red colour followed by fragrant dark cherry, red liquorice and exotic spice aromas, oak sitting gently in the background. The palate is then bone dry, and fleshy, and takes a distinctly savoury turn into tobacco and dusty, baked earth flavours over brooding mulberry fruits well supported by ripe, well managed tannins. There is an attractive rusticity to the finish too which only adds to its drinkability. Enjoy with pink lamb backstraps.”

93 points, Angus Hughson,

"Medium deep colour. Fresh red cherry, raspberry pastille, mulberry aromas with demi-glace notes. Richly concentrated red cherry, raspberry pastille, mulberry fruits, fine loose knit chocolaty/ graphite textures. Fleshy and sturdy with very good complexity and mineral length. A multi-polygon blend with 60% Grenache from Polygon 4. Components matured for 15 months in concrete egg, seasoned oak or concrete tulip. 2000 bottles & 50 magnums made. 13.8 % alc."

94 points, Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal

"The Old Quarter of their vineyards was planted in the 1950s. The team see this wine as the “pure expression of the character of the site that they arrived at by splitting it into its constituent geological parts before blending to find beauty, character and harmony”. The blend is 60% Grenache, and 20% of both Shiraz and Mataro. Grenache from Polygon 4 which is seen as particularly intense and velvety by the team, planted on “hard, fractured clay with a little schist”. There is no fruit from Polygon 2 in this vintage. The Mataro comes from Polygon 6, while three quarters of the Shiraz came from Polygons 7 and 8, with the remainder the declassified Shiraz from Polygon 1.

It might have been unexpected but for me, this wine pipped the 2019, though I’d happily drink either any day of the week. Deep red/purple hue here, with an alluring nose of red fruits, spices, coffee beans and cherries. A glorious combination of plushness and silk on the palate. Satiny tannins, with great length. A complete and seamless example of what can be achieved with this famous Rhone blend. So balanced, so fresh and with bright acidity. A future of at least 15 to 20 years, if well cellared. Seriously good."

98 points, Ken Gargett,

"Alkina is an impressive project in the Barossa, and I heartily recommend that you seek them out, if dirt and details are your desire. They are mine. Certified organic and biodynamic fruit, the 2020 Old Quarter GSM is composed of 60% Grenache, 20% Shiraz and 20% Mataro (Mourvédre). The Shiraz and Grenache components were treated the same as each other: handpicked, fermented separately with 100% whole bunches and wild ferment in concrete tulips. The Mataro was destemmed and fermented in an oak barrel (a big one). The components were then basket pressed and matured for 15 months in concrete egg, old oak and concrete tulip. A long introduction, I know, but fascinating don't you think? I haven't even touched on the soil types. In the glass, the wine is fragile, with very fine savory fruit underpinned by powdery tannins. The endurance of pristine flavor in the mouth tells us about the quality of the fruit resource. Impressive to the max. Wine for grownups—it's intellectual."

93 Points +, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate