Miette Grenache Cinsault Mataro Barossa 2013


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“Drink with barbecued meats, roast vegetables or by itself, drink within the next 7 years.”

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Made by Magali Gely and Peter Schell who base themselves in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. These two have spent a lot of time around wine in France. Magali grew up in a vineyard just outside of Montpellier in the South of France where her family has been making wine for 10 generations. Peter is a trained oenologist who has done vintages in Burgundy and Bordeaux. This French connection gives a really important context to their wines. They are making some of the most interesting wines to come out of the Barossa, which is renowned for its gigantic reds.

This wine is made from 51% Grenache, 34% Cinsault and 15% Mataro aka Mourvedre. (Funnily, despite the French connection, they have decided to name it the Spanish Mataro not the French Mourvedre, the Spanish spelling is more traditionally Barossa and also shows people how diverse our local wine history is). Grenache is a great variety to grow in the warmer regions of Australia as it is late budding and late to ripen, thus taking a long time to fully develop its spicy red fruit flavours. For the cork geeks amongst us Australia has the oldest Grenache planting in the world.

Cinsault is a variety that is usually seen with Grenache in Provincial style rosés and is rarely seen in a red wine in Australia, which is a shame because it can be very elegant. I think we have not seen a lot because, although adapted to dry hot conditions, it is low yielding. Cinsault adds red fruit, perfume, and suppleness to any wine it is added to. It has powdery, elegant tannins and it deliciously gluggable.

Mataro is also a tough vine, ripening even later sometimes than Grenache and requires a lot of heat to ripen. Its characters are on the dark side of the spectrum, black fruits, meat, and earth are its usual fingerprints, in fact some straight Mataro is so meaty and animally it can be falsely accused of have a fault in the wine.

This wine is juicy, Peter and Magali have done a great job of keeping all the varieties in balance with each other and allowing them to make an enjoyable French style table wine. It is not overly extracted which is always my main criticisms of Barossa reds. This allows the wine to express red fruit, spice, herbaceous perfume, and fine woody tannins. Drink with barbecued meats, roast vegetables or by itself, drink within the next 7 years.

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