2003 The Tardy - Langhorne Creek Zinfandel
Although picked at slightly lower baumé than anticipated, this wine is more elegant than its older brother from 2002. The flavours and characters of the 2003, once again reflect the uniqueness of Zinfandel. Coloured ruby red with notes of red fruit, subtle fruitcake and spice and a subtle palate of ripe red fruit, pepper, French oak, balanced by overall fruit richness and “sweetness”.
Personally I feel that Zinfandel is very interesting variety when it comes to ageing. After a few years in the bottle, the fragrant fruitcake and spice subside slowly and while the wines still drink well, the characters evolve transforming the wine into complex attractive dry red.
Grown on sandy loams over limestone adjacent to a flood plain of the Bremer River in Langhorne creek, the vines are allowed to sprawl, but require careful irrigation management. After extensive crop thinning, the vines became balanced and even. After some unexpected summer / autumn rains, some botrytis was evident and thankfully for the handpicking these bunches were avoided.
Vinification & Maturation
The fruit was picked ripe, but may have benefited by hanging for another week, but the botrytis infection played a part in the time of harvest. The fruit was de-stemmed and ~20% of the juice was saigneed, with the balance of the fruit being fermented steadily, but not quickly. After a total of 12 days on skins, the free run was drained and the skins pressed to the tank of free run. After 24 hours, the wine was racked to 3-4 year old French barriques for 10 months, during which time the wine went through malolactic fermentation and was racked once.
Harvested -April 2003
Bottled - March 2004
Alcohol - 14.0%
Adamo - Barossa Shiraz
The Tardy - Langhorne Creek Zinfandel
The Cellar-pod - Adelaide Hills Viognier
The Donald - Barossa Zinfandel
Le Grenouille - Adelaide Hills Merlot
2003 - 2004
On the 2003 Tardy...
Bloody good stuff... Outstanding. Score: 93 Drink: Now-2012. 93 points. Winefront Monthly
Max Allen - The Australian ..."The second thing we discovered was that Matt Wenk really knows how to handle Zinfandel. The 2003 Langhorne Creek Zin he has just released under his own cutely titled label Smidge, was the standout wine with our pizzas. Gutsy and complex, it has white pepper and forest fruit flavours with a long, dry, tannic after taste. It's a bold but-worth-it..."
The weather during this growing season was overall fine and warm, except for some heavy rain one night late in February causing some disease. Although yields were reduced across many regions in the State, overall quality in Langhorne Creek was good to very good...Matt Wenk Winemaker