Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Primo Estate Joseph Moda Amarone 1993 (McLaren Vale & Coonawarra)

The two most important Australian 'Italianate' wines? For me, it is the Coriole sangiovese and Primo Estate's Moda 'amarone'. Both have a track record of success over decades, including refinements of source vineyards, techniques and styles.

The 1993 Moda is a blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. The cabernet was sourced from both McLaren Vale and Coonawarra, with the merlot from McLaren Vale. The 1993 was also the second Moda made by Joseph Grilli.

It may be an early example, but this bottle showed that key elements of the Moda 'amarone' style were in place from the beginning. There is a lot of development here, secondary and tertiary characters having overtaken primary fruit, but the structure of amarone-styled wines is there, as is the bittersweet flavour of the dried-grape tannins. Leather shows clearly, up against bitter chocolate and a faded note of berry compote. Perhaps a year or two into its dotage, but a good bit of Australian wine history in this bottle.

Cork. Auction. $45. 14% alcohol. Website here.

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