Saturday, July 3, 2010

Primo Estate Moda 1997

If pressed, I would probably pick the Primo Estate Moda part 'amarone' as my favourite Australian 'Italian' wine. The wine is mainly cabernet sauvignon, with some merlot blended in. The distinctive, 'Italianate' feature of the wine is the rack-drying of a portion of the grapes, in the method of amarone. The result is a wine built for ageing, developing attractive leathery and sometimes tarry characters after ten years. To my palate, the drying process modifies the cabernet tannins, adding an additional bittersweet character, somewhat like bitter chocolate.

The 1997 Moda is 90% cabernet sauvignon from McLaren Vale, with 10% Merlot from both Coonawarra and McLaren Vale. It opens up with bitter cocoa, resolved cabernet fruit, a hint of coffee and an attractive depth of fine, drying tannins. On the showing of this bottle, the wine will continue to develop over the next three years (though this had a perfect cork).

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