Monday, November 15, 2010

Vigna Cantina 2009 Sangiovese (Barossa Valley)

Vigna Cantina is a label of Torzi Matthews out of the Eden Valley, although this 2009 sangiovese comes from Barossa Valley fruit. I first came across Torzi Matthews through their Frost Dodger shiraz, which draws on some of Domenic Torzi's Italian heritage in its use of amarone-style partial drying techniques for some of the shiraz bunches involved.

Sealed with a Diam cork, the wine contains parcels of fruit from the Gomersal, Moppa and Kalimna subregions of the Barossa. Both the information sheet for the wine and the website provides useful information on vine age (11-13 years), oak (16 months in 'seasoned' French oak), vineyard and winemaking choices (30% whole bunch, wild yeast, small open ferments, basket pressed, bottled unfiltered). Three clones are involved: Gomersal having the 'Brunello' clone; Moppa the 'Piccolo' clone; and a 'Grosso' clone at Koonunga Hill.

The wine itself starts out smelling of cherries and plums, with a touch of something herbal, vegetal and smoky trailing behind. The first taste is all about layered fruit sourness (in a good way), taking me by suprise after the implied richness of the nose. Over time, the fruit comes up a bit in the mix, but the palate mainly tells a story about acid. It's good acid, but in the absence of a solid tannin structure or better fruit weight, the wine looks like it needs better balance. Perhaps a more neutral oak treatment would have given the fruit more room to show through, or a touch more fruit intensity.

Try with roast meat, or something richly sauced but lowish acid, such as veal in marsala. Tasted with roast lamb rack, portobello mushrooms and braised globe artichoke hearts.

Source: sample. Alcohol: 13.5% (bottle), 13% (information sheet). Price: $20 rrp. Closure: Diam.

Winery website.

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