One of the more uncommon grapes - at least in Australia, Zinfandel is considered a heritage variety in the United States, and is believed to be very similar (and some say the same) to the Italian Primitivo grape.
With a history that survived the prohibition in California, Zinfandel can be made into a variety styles, from the sweet rosé White Zinfandel popular in the US, or our preference a big, rich, fruit driven spicy, structured peppery red.
Many people like to drink Zinfandels young - within one to three years allowing the wines to show their very unique fruit character. Equally Zin's do age well, however you'll find those fruit characters are surpassed by a more mellow secondary level of complexity more typical of a dry red wine.
Primary characters include spice, cherry, rhubarb and ripe berry, with developed characteristics encompassing truffles, tar, nutmeg, savoury, gamey, earthy traits.
Why The Zinfandel Regional Series?
Zinfandel has been a passion of Matt's since he first started making it with Peter Leske at Nepenthe in Adelaide Hills. So much so, he followed his obsession to the Sonoma Valley in California - the home of Zin to refine the art of making it.
Our philosophy is to make wine that shows its heritage in both its varietal character and the region from which the fruit is grown. For this series we have and continue to pick regions and vineyards that we believe compliment and best bring out the rich spicy peppery characteristics of a great Zin.
“I was told this would be the best Zin I had ever tasted and they were right!”
This variety is thought to be named after the city of Shiraz in Iran, where the process of winemaking is believed to have originated. That said, it is thought the variety originated in the Northern Rhone valley of France.
Shiraz is also known as Syrah, the later typically used in the old world\and in Shiraz in countries such as Australia. Shiraz typically produces full rich wines of intense color and flavour. In warmer climates like Australia, the grape produces wines that are sweeter and riper tasting. In cooler climates like the Rhone valley of France, it often has more pepper and spice aromas and flavors.
The grape was introduced to Australia in 1832 by James Bushby who brought in vines of several varieties from Europe. By 1844 Shiraz was a recommended variety for Australia and for at least its first hundred years in Australia, Shiraz was used as a 'blend' variety and not vinified separately.
In Australia, Shiraz has found a real home It's late blooming nature suited the warmer growing conditions found in Australia. The Shiraz grape is the most widely planted red grape variety in Australia where it is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or occasionally with Mourvedre.
Wines made from Shiraz are often quite powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavor notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices chosen. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries, chocolate, espresso and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical." With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savory "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle.
("Secondary" flavor and aroma notes are those associated with winemakers' practices, such as oak barrel and yeast regimes, and are not typically associated with specific grape varieties.)
Viognier has been made famous mainly by the regions in the north Rhone of Condrieu, Château Grillet and Côte Rôtie. The first two producing white wine only and local Appellation d’Origine Contrôllée regulation allow small amounts (up to 15%) to be blended with Shiraz / Syrah in Côte Rôtie. Australian made Viognier has been emerging onto the local market in recent years with good success, with its characters of stone fruit, spice and subtle minerality.
Viognier is considered one of the most difficult grapes to grow with it’s susceptibility to disease and notoriously low and unpredictable yields.
Far from a mainstream variety, Viognier is attracting almost cult following of wine drinkers seeking alternatives for a rich, full bodied yet still elegant white wine.
Viognier meets the challenge, producing a full bodied white wine brimming with richness, character and golden colour. Although a rich dry wine, it has powerful almost sweet nose full stone fruit such as apricots, peaches and pears.
Depending on the wine, fruit characters vary from these apricots and pears to citrus flavours, tropical mangos and guava and honey suckle. At the same time Viognier’s texture will fill your mouth with sensations of oiliness, viscosity yet still have a sense of delicate elegance.