Big Nick is as much a mate as he is a great winemaker. Chew the fat with him for 5 minutes and you almost think you’re old school mates. A third generation winemaker (Grandad Coonawarra, Dad McLaren Vale) he was destined to spend February to April each year with red hands, feet and tongue.
After taking the reins from his Dad, the 1990’s saw Nick running a very smart operation in McLaren Vale trading as Haselgrove Wines. The corporates circled and the brand became a part of the publically listed Australian Premium Wines. Compelled to toe the company line Nick did so, but with fingers crossed behind his back. In the early 2,000’s he decided it was time to run the joint again. He put together a portfolio of brands and in 2010 along with some investors and industry veterans they started Adelaide Winemakers. Today they produce labels including Clarence Hill, Blackbilly, Old Faithful, Old Gentlemen and of course Quorum.
Nick’s accolades include McLaren Vale Bushing King in 1993, top prize at the Sydney International Wine Show in 1998, and Winestate Magazine’s Australian winemaker of the Year 2010. If you’re wondering what a ‘Bushing King’ is just get a ticket to the lunch and your education will be complete.
McLaren Vale is home to some of the most treasured Old Vine plantings in the world today, with the earliest known plantings dating back to 1860’s. We affectionately refer to them as “The Old Faithful”. They are a resource we treasure dearly.
The Old Faithful Wine Company is an artisan producer of small quantities of exceptional wines from older, exceptional single vineyards. We look for vineyards that are expressive of McLaren Vale, the vintage and the variety and only release our wines when the wines display these finest characters. With the Rhone as its inspiration - Shiraz, Grenache and sometimes Mourvedre grace our portfolio. Made to age gracefully, we believe in and recommend our wines and hope you can enjoy the magic of ‘The Old Faithful’.
The ‘Cafe Block’ Shiraz is another expressive site in McLaren Vale. Over 40 years old and perched at the “Top of the Hill” in the north of McLaren Vale with commanding views and hard schist loam soils, these vines have natural low vigour and produced some of the best fruit of the vintage.
After harvesting, the grapes undergo cold soak in an open tank then ferment slowly over a week or more. On pressing the wine was transferred to seasoned French oak barrels to complete fermentation and add structure to the wine. Only the best barrels were selected for the final wine. Bottled with light filtration, no fining.
Colour: Opaque, saturated purple.
Nose: Briary, bramble bush... reminiscent of wild blackberries. Nougat and mocha oak notes with a hint of liquorice and forest floor.
Tannic, full and rich with stoney, mineral palate and black fruits with length and crisp acidity. Full flavoured and persistent but needs time for the tannins to integrate and resolve.
Benchmark, one of the better conditions of vintage experienced for some time in McLaren Vale.
Shiraz grown in schist loams
100% Seasoned French oak Hogsheads for 30 months.
pH 3.54, TA 6.25
DIAM technical cork to provide taint free cellaring.
Winemaking by Nick Haselgrove
The Old Faithfull, Northern Exposure
The ‘Northern Exposure’ Grenache is sourced from dry grown vineyard planted over 80 years ago on sandy soils over siltstone, to the North of Blewitt Springs on the edge of the Onkaparinga gorge. The block’s exposure ensures optimal ripeness and pristine definition of varietal fruits, which is captured by the magic of old bush vines and traditional viticulture.
Once fully and evenly ripe these grapes are harvested by hand and then gently crushed to our open fermenter. A short cold maceration helps extract fruits and tannin. Then the fermentation is allowed to get hot to extract richness and complexity. The new wine is transferred to seasoned oak for extended maturation and eventual barrel selection to produce a lovely textured wine style.
Colour: Dark cherry red with a mauve hue.
Nose: Dark raspberry fruit, floral pot pourri and with a hint of Turkish delights and a subtle malty oak note. Remarkably poised and fresh with interesting mineral, quartz stone complexity.
Textural palate with rich round tannin and piquant acidity with a touch of light soy. Focussed dark fruits, brightness and integration with oak. Excellent length and poise for the cellar.
4-12 years, longer in a cool cellar. Decant on opening and allow to breathe if possible for a couple of hours.
A classic vintage with all the great hallmarks of McLaren Vale.
Grenache on siltstone. (Saddleworth Formation)
40 months in seasoned French oak puncheon.
pH 3.4, TA 6.0
DIAM 30 technical cork to provide taint free cellaring. 1479 Produced.
Winemaking by Nick Haselgrove