The story & history behind: The ancestor vines of Planta Circa
The Planta Circa wine label was created when Mark & Craig from Purple Hands stumbled across a unique piece of Barossa viticulture history.
They are forever grateful to the Zerk family, who entrusted them with the fruit from this small plot on Lyndoch’s outskirts.
There are many little pieces of viticultural history in the Barossa, and in 2012 they became the custodians of one of these truly unique vineyards. With no records available to indicate the history of this vineyard, they engaged a historian to investigate who unearthed the story of PF Zimmerman and the family-owned vineyard established in the mid-1800s. His father planted the vineyard and handed it over to PF Zimmerman sometime in the 1870s, where it was further developed.
The original vineyard did not have any cabernet plantings. Still, thanks to local newspaper evidence, PF Zimmerman was quoted as protesting the low price of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the first few years of the 1900s. This information, as well as records of grapes from the vineyard being delivered to Seppeltsfield in 1889, guides us to believe the vines can be estimated to have been planted between 1880 – 1890.
These ancestor vines (equal to or over 125 years of age) inspire the Planta Circa label – literally “planted around the region of” as the exact date of the plantings remains a mystery. Purple Hands believe the cabernet vines are some of the oldest on their roots, still producing fruit today.
The Planta Circa cabernet was first released from the 2013 vintage and received a 97-point rating from James Halliday, which ranked it amongst the top Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the 2016 Halliday Wine Companion.
“This is pure and simple cabernet, elegant, long and finely structured. A great cabernet vintage for this great vineyard.”
James Halliday, published 18 June 2021
It has continued to rate highly in the Halliday Wine Companion with a score of 98 points (2014), 96 points (2016) and 98 points (2017). There was no release in 2015.
In 2018 the Purple Hands team were delighted to be offered the grenache and shiraz from this fantastic vineyard, enabling them to expand with 2 more single-vineyard Ancestor Vine wines, the shiraz and grenache. Each wine shows what these ancient vines can deliver, varietal fruit characters with complexity and elegance.
The wines are made in small volumes due to the tiny plots and low yields, producing enough fruit to create 100 -150 dozen yearly. Demand outstrips supply and the new releases are eagerly anticipated by those in the know.
2021 vintage now released. To buy these limited wines, follow the link for "Purple Hands" click here 🔗
Cheat sheet: Planta Circa winemaking:
Limited production of 468 vines, approx. two barrels. Drink now or cellar carefully and enjoy over the next 15 years.
Open fermenter with indigenous yeast. Temperatures reached 28C with gentle hand plunging performed 3-4 times daily. After 12 days on skins, the fruit was basket pressed and transferred to 300 ltr oak barrels (50% new French oak with balance into 2, 3 & 4-year-old French oak hogsheads) to undergo malo-lactic fermentation. Once malo was complete, SO2 was added to the barrels, and the wine was then left on lees to mature for 6 months before racking. The wine was then transferred back to the same oak and matured for another 9 months.
There was no finning, and only a very coarse filtration was used before the bottle. Natural cork closure finished with wax.
Vibrant colour leads to a complex nose of varietal blackcurrant, earth, and forest floor with hints of vanilla and mocha derived from the new French oak. The full-bodied, textural palate combines sweet fruit, fine oak and fruit tannin to give the palate richness with balance. This wine displays all the elements of great Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon.
5% of the fruit was tipped into a concrete open fermenter with the balance destemmed and lightly crushed (rollers open). Temperatures reached 28C with header boards allowing gentle extraction. After 10 days on skins the fruit was basket pressed and transferred into 42% new French oak (1 x 720lt ) with balance into 1-4 year old French oak puncheons to undergo malo-lactic fermentation. After malo-lactic fermentation SO2 was added to the barrels, the wine was then left on light lees to mature for 8 months before racking. The wine was then transferred back to the same oak and matured for another 9 months. No fining used. As with the cabernet sauvignon, natural cork closure finished with wax.
Vibrant colour, lifted fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry, subtle oak notes of vanilla and sweet spice add to this inviting nose. A medium to full bodied textured palate with supple tannins. This elegant and complex Barossa Shiraz shows the flavour and balance that these incredibly old vines give. Craig Stansborough is confident this wine will age gracefully over the next 20-30 years.
Around 30% whole clusters were tipped into open fermenters with the balance crushed on top; header boards were placed on day 2 of ferment. Temperatures reached 32C with pump overs performed 1-2 times daily.
After 10 days on skins, the fruit was basket pressed and transferred into older puncheons to undergo malo-lactic fermentation. Post malo, the wine was left 3 weeks before SO2 was added; the wine was left on lees and topped regularly. The wine was racked in early February without fining or filtration before bottling. As with the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, natural cork closure finished with wax.
Bright crimson colour leads to red-fruited aromas of raspberry and strawberry; this is complemented by earth, sweet spice and pepper. The palate is medium-bodied, lively and fleshy, with medium tannins maintaining a degree of elegance. The persistence of sweet red berry flavours combined with a soft finish gives a wine you can enjoy now or over the next 15 years.
To buy these limited wines, follow the link for "Purple Hands" click here 🔗
Limited edition wooden gift box follow the link for "Wooden Gift Box" click here 🔗