Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vigna Cantina 2010 Sangiovese (Barossa Valley)

Here is a wine that requires a bit of time to show itself (and to get its measure). Vigna Cantina is the 'Italian' label of Torzi Matthews, with the range also including a good old-vine trebbiano. The Barossa has some older-vine sangiovese to work with, including on sandier soils that can help balance out the vines at sensible cropping levels. Some of the vines Penfolds have used for their Cellar Reserve Sangiovese were experimental Kalimna plantings put in in 1982. Apparently, there are a few early trial wines made that never saw external release... Wonder what they were (or are) like?

But back to Vigna Cantina. These vines, at Moppa Springs and Koonunga Hill in the Barossa, come in at 15 years of age and are cropped moderately (2.5kg per vine). Winemaking choices are similar to the 2009 version of this wine (reviewed here) - whole berries, 30% whole bunch, wild yeasts, small open ferments, basket pressed and taken to bottle unfiltered.

The wine itself shows a good balance of fruit character, acid and light, burring tannins, but needs time in the decanter or glass to come up (a couple of years in the cellar could work too). As a pop-and-pour, it can look a touch under-fruited, with a note of something lifted, almost volatile. Perhaps as a result of the wild yeast ferment, this lifted character (not VA for me) can be a bit distracting, but with time the purple and red fruits well up nicely to balance things out. A good wine, straddling the categories of sangiovese and Barossan dry red, and decent drinking with time and grilled meats. Sensible alcohol a further plus.

Sample, $22 recommended retail price, screwcap, 13.5% alcohol. Winery website here.

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