After years of working in his family's potato business, Frank Mitolo started making wine for family and friends. In 1999, after a now legendary 5 hour discussion with winemaker Ben Glaetzer, the pair fashioned a dream of making the ultimate expression of McLaren Vale's rich provenance of soils. They jotted a six word business plan on the back of a napkin: individuality, integrity, quality, purity, elegance and power.
Like the G.A.M. Shiraz, the fruit for Savitar comes from the Lopresti vineyard, and more specifically the Chinese Block, which is located at the southern end of McLaren Vale, about 4km east of the coastal town of Port Willunga. The Savitar grapes come from one tiny section of this block: a particularly unforgiving, rocky patch of soil in the north eastern corner. Here, the vines are naturally pushed very hard, producing low yields of fruit.
The berries are tiny but well-structured and packed full of flavour. Each parcel of fruit for Savitar is fermented on skins for fifteen days. This slightly longer time on skins ensures a tighter overall structure setting up the framework for a wine built for ageing. Following fermentation, the wine is pressed, and transferred to oak barrels where it remains on light lees for approximately 18 months before it is carefully selected for the final blend.
Immense lift, the aromatics are an incredibly intense amalgam of blackcurrant, menthol, liquorice and cedar oak. The palate shows a hugely complex flavour profile befitting of its pedigree. Characters of black fruits, dried herbs, and earthy tones of liquorice and savoury leather.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
The full, bright and deep colour isn't a false prophet. Ben Glaetzer's skill as a winemaker is writ large across the face of this beautifully shaped and balanced wine. Its purity and line of wild blackberry fruits comes into full focus on the back-palate and finish. An altogether exceptional wine from a very good vintage.'