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Mike’s has a small allotment of rare south Australian wines from famed winery Ochota Barrels available upon request.

The Ochota Barrels tale began on a surf trip, late in 2000 along the Mexican west coast in a Volkswagen campervan.  A final destination after traveling to some of the world’s best wine and surf regions, Taras and Amber Ochota conceived the idea to make super premium wines back home in South Australia.  The concept was to concentrate on the zenith variety of McLaren Vale (Grenache) and the Barossa Valley (Shiraz), find an exceptional old vineyard site in each region, and create plush, small-batch, single vineyard wines.  Over the years the regions and vineyards may have shifted on a few wines, but the focus has always remained the same – showing precision and compression in the wines.

As an Oenology graduate from Adelaide University, Taras developed his craft at wineries such as Two Hands and MSV in the Barossa Valley.  He and Amber had worked together making wine for Oenoforos in Sweden, crafting primarily Italian wines for the monopoly.  California was also a regular vintage destination of Taras and Amber, where they made wines with producers such as Kunin, Bonnacorsi, Arcadian, Schrader, Outpost, and the famous Hitching Post’s label, Hartley-Ostini, from the movie ‘Sideways’.

The Ochotas took a less-is-more approach to winemaking and infused their love for music into the wines in both a literal and figurative sense.  In fact, the majority of the wines are named after meaningful bands/songs (Fugazi, Slint, I am the Owl, Texture Like Sun, etc.).  Figuratively, Taras has said that “music and wine are so connected in so many ways, I reckon you can often see the styles of music people like in the wines they make.  I like edgy music, rawer, sharper, and my wines tend to be all elbows and knees sticking out. Someone else might like folk music, and they make rustic, country-esque wines. And then you get mainstream big production wines that taste like music that’s been overdubbed and auto-tuned and had things taken out and put back in.”

Sadly, in October of 2020, Taras left us following a lengthy battle with an auto-immune disease.  The news was devastating, and the wine world lost one of its true originals and visionaries.  More importantly, a wife lost her husband, two children lost their father, and Vine Street lost a very special friend.  It was also a low point for anyone who had come into contact with Taras directly or indirectly by simply enjoying a glass of his wines or better yet spending quality time as he always made you feel like the only person in the room.  Despite the tragedy and the heartache that will always continue, Amber is continuing the family vision as she did every step of the way with Taras.  They had a friend start assisting in the cellar in 2018 – Louis Schofield of Hellbound Wine Bar in Adelaide.  Louis and Taras’ father, Yari, are working side-by-side with Amber to continue the legacy.

Ochota Barrels Green Room Grenache2022 Ochota Barrels Green Room Grenache, South Australia

This is the fourth vintage of the wine being varietally labeled. The Greek Room vineyard, a.k.a. the Grancari vineyard in the Onkaparinga Hills, has always been the source of fruit for this wine and remains one of the great sites in the Ochota Barrels’ lineup.  ‘The Green Room’ was created as an incubator of sorts for a wine that is ready for the ‘big stage’. This wine has certainly arrived and the name will continue moving forward. Not a single spray was done to this vintage and the certified organic, gnarly bush vines really sang the most beautiful notes.

The fruit was hand-harvested over two weeks in mid-February. The fruit was fermented with ambient yeasts, with half of the batch fermenting entirely whole-cluster.  The fruit was all cold-soaked for five days until wild yeast fermentation kicked off. The ferments were gently foot stomped and hang plunged between one week and a month, depending on the ferment. The wine was basket-pressed to old French barriques for five months of aging, then blended and settled in tank. It was bottled without fining and just a small 62ppm sulfur addition and pad filtration.

93 Points – James Suckling 
4 Bottles Available – $39.99


Ochota Barrels Texture Like Sun2022 Ochota Barrels Texture Like Sun Red & White Blend, Adelaide Hills

The label may be completely illegible with its utterly lurid and almost painful yellow label. “That’s the idea,” said Taras back in 2018. “It’s something in a clear bottle, released in Spring, nothing to hide, yummy!”

This wine has always been about the result and not the components, with each vintage changing quite a bit in the ‘how’s’ and ‘what’s’. 2022 marks the second vintage of a new era at Ochota Barrels with Amber taking control in the vineyards and cellar following the tragic passing of her husband Taras.  The name of the wine is taken from lyrics from the song ‘Golden Brown’ by The Stranglers as it was the song Taras and Amber danced to at their wedding. Keeping the song and eternal love going was never going to be in question and this blend of roughly 60% Adelaide Hills fruit with nearly 40% McLaren Vale fruit helps to accomplish that goal. Amber chose in 2022 to cut back on the number of varieties in this blend, showcasing Gamay and Grenache primarily, with a touch of texture from the Gewürtz and elegance from the Pinot Noir.

The fruit was hand-picked with only the best being used. The clusters were kept separate and cold-soaked for a few days, then fermentation kicked off naturally in small, open-top fermenters. Toward the finale of primary fermentation, the Gewürztraminer skins were tossed into the Pinot Noir ferment. The fruit was hand-plunged multiple times a day over the course of two weeks prior to being basket-pressed to old French barriques for aging. Amber made the barrel selections for the blend after two months of aging then blended the wines to settle in tank. It was bottled without fining and just a small 35ppm addition of sulfur and pad filtration.

93 Points – James Suckling
3 Bottles Available – $39.99


Ochota Barrels Botanicals of the Basket Range Red Blend2022 Ochota Barrels Botanicals of the Basket Range Red Blend, Adelaide Hills

Vermouth-inspired, Basket Range-bred, Ochota family created… Botanicals is a wine that truly has no boundaries or class and gentile words lack meaning when attempting to summarize this elixir, so let the family dictate more eloquently on this vinous concoction.

This wine was always a labor of love for Amber and Taras and continuing this wine was always in the plan. Amber elaborates, “so once again this summer, the children and I took our little cane basket into the garden, followed by our ducks and chickens, cats and the dog, we talked about Taras as we collected bunches of botanicals grown all around the wine studio. These botanicals were gently submerged in a delicious ferment throughout the vintage. Some of the botanicals infused were sage, wild fennel, wormwood, elderflower, lemon balm, bay leaf, river mint, thyme, lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena, rose petals, and marigolds.”

The fruit was hand-picked throughout February and March. It was pressed, then infused with a bouquet of homegrown botanicals. Gravity was used to rack the wine off the botanicals and into two seasoned French barriques, where it remained for about five months.

3 Bottles Available – $49.99


Ochota Barrels Mark of Cain2022 Ochota Barrels Mark of Cain Pinot Meunier, South Australia

This is the fifth vintage of ‘The Mark of Cain’, the high-toned, effusive Pinot Meunier named after a punk band whom Taras had played as an opener for. ‘The Mark of Cain’ could be described as simple, but energetic, vocals layered atop a lurching and chaotic rhythm section that aptly defines this wine.

This is one of the oldest Pinot Meunier vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, planted in the Piccadilly Valley in 1985. The dry-farmed vines really provide a great deal of intensity for the delicate aromas and tones. Being another La Niña year, 2022 was similar to 2021. It was cool and mild, with no big heatwaves, and long slow ripening. This makes for perfumed, light-bodied wines with great natural acidity.

The fruit was hand-picked in early March and the vast majority of the fruit was destemmed with only 10% being kept intact. The lots were placed into two one-ton open-top fermenters with a few handfuls of stalks and fermentation kicked off almost immediately. The cap was gently submersed for a little more than a week before being basket pressed to old French barriques for aging. After five months the wine was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small 51 ppm sulfur addition.

94 Points – James Suckling
3 Bottles Available – $49.99


To purchase any of the wines mentioned above, please email to reserve your desired bottles!