(2023) Mario Marson, erstwhile viticulturist at Mount Mary in Yarra Valley, has teamed up with his daughter Madeleine to produce the familyâ€™s own range of Italian varietals. 12 different Sangiovese clones went into this wine, which saw 15% lightly toasted new oak. Attractive black cherry notes with savoury earthiness and minerality. Drinking well now but will age. Vagabond Wines is UK importer but no retail listing for this wine at time of review. (GD)
(2022) A whole variety of Pinot clones in the mix for this wine from vineyards 50 kilometres from the coast. Fermented with indigenous yeasts and 40% whole bunches, aged eight months in French oak (10% new barrels). Medium-pale garnet colour. Fragrant, cherry pie nose, a little hint of truffle and forest floor, but really more about upfront red fruit. More of that buoyant, juicy and fleshy cherry and berry character on the palate, with a dark stripe of liquorice tannin and acidity. There's a little feeling of Campari bitters in the finish here, that is perhaps slightly at odds with the gloriously perfumed style.
(2021) From the granite soils of the cool Grampians region, this spent 14 months in French oak, 35% new barrels. Deep in colour, it's another of the more lifted, floral and berry fruit styles here, very charming with its peppery notes and just a background hint of sizzling bacon rind. In the mouth a flood of plush and juicy fruit, tangy sour-edged blueberry and plum, but so much balancing fruit sweetness. There's a firmness through taut tannins and juicy acidity, giving this a fresh and appetising finish. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for a previous vintage.
(2021) From a vintage that had a difficult conditions with uneven fruit-set, and a lot of 'hen and chicken' grapes in the bunches, though overall the season ended with good ripeness. Quite pale, with a softness to the colour on the rim, fruit comes from three vineyards, all destemmed and fermented with wild yeasts. It spends 17 months in French oak, 25% of which is new. Briar, roses and cherry, with plenty of fruit brightness and perfume. The palate has weight, creaminess and fruit sweetness, then firm tannins and an orangy intensity of acidity balances the finish. Plenty of juicy, vibrant character here in a four-year-old wine.
(2021) A lovely vintage for this estate, and this wine sourced from vineyards across the region. Around 5% whole bunches, this was fermented in open-top ferementers and aged in a blend of small and larger barrels, 10% new, though 15% stayed in steel "to promote a vibrant fruit profile." Medium-pale, some earthiness and farmyard characters here, the fruit is red berries and cherry. Plenty of fruit, this is dry and savoury, very bright acidity at this stage, quite punchy, the picture vibrant and tight with its racy tannins and overall savoury style.
(2017) One percent Viognier in the blend and from five-year-old vines. Young, juicy Shiraz, with buoyant plum and cherry fruit brightness. Spice and a tight, a hint of liquorice concentration. The palate is very firm, tight and juicy, with a cheryy skin bite of tart freshness, with a touch of iodine and graphite character, a real edgy intensity. An interesting one for the future.
Very tight, very keenly juicy, but closed with not a lot of aromatics. The palate has a load of dry tannin, a tight, grippy but fine structure, but that dark fruit and fruit skin intensity powers through with bittersweet concentration. Again, this needs time.
(2017) 30% whole bunch. Again touches of pepper and greener, cooler climate aromatics, a touch musky. Deliciously mouth-filling, with soft tannins and a creaminess, elegant fleshy red fruits, then tightening to black fruit and spice.a touch of ferrous quality into the finish. A very pleasing, creamy wine with good freshness too.
(2017) A bit of age on this single vineyard wine, from a vineyard with a bit of altitude at 230 metres. A nice classic style, with cedar and graphite and an intense blackcurrant fruit. A nice chalky softness to the tannin structure here, sweet and gentle acids too, that and the creamy oak wrapping round pure black fruit. Very elegant, pure and ripe.