I dislike the term 'entry level,' because it has connotations of something lesser, or inferior. Take Michael Hall's Sang de Pigeon range of wines, for example. Although an 'entry level' range, there is absolutely nothing inferior here.
Perfumed and savoury, with a dark fruit core, this is not your typical Barossa Shiraz. There's no jamminess or sweet, confected fruit, this is all about layers and complexity, with raspberry and blackberry fruit underpinned by gamey notes and spice. A fantastic alternative to the heavy-hitting reds that we usually associate with Barossa.
The core fruit was grown on two vineyards in the Stone Well sub region of the Barossa. A dry winter and warm spring drove an early harvest despite average summer temperatures. Picked on the 24th and 29th February, 74% destemmed to open fermenter, 26% fermented whole bunch in closed puncheons. Matured for 21 months in barrel and blended with 15% Eden Valley fruit. Fined with egg white, unfiltered.
Dark-fruited, sarsaparilla, wild blackberry, bresaola and powdery-dry tannins.
Michael Hall grew up in England, where he originally built a career in jewellery evaluation, even working for Sotheby’s in Switzerland at one point. Whilst he worked with priceless gems every day, wine was his real passion and so, at the ripe old age of 40, he decided to bring his wine dream to reality, applying for an Australian student visa and enrolling in Wine Science at Charles Sturt University, where he graduated dux in 2005. Taking advantage of the inverse hemisphere seasons, Michael worked stints in Australia with Cullen, Giaconda, Henschke, Shaw + Smith, Coldstream Hills and Veritas; in France with Domaine Leflaive, Meo-Camuzet, Vieux Telegraphe andTrevallon. He then spent four formative years as winemaker for Barossa contract winemaker, Moppa Vintners, before establishing Michael Hall Wines.
NED GOODWIN - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Fermented in a combination of open and closed-top fermenters, resplendent with 26% whole bunches, this is Barossa of a lighter lilac shade. Punchy acidity corrals blue and black fruit allusions all, underlain with a chassis of fruit cake spice, mint and anise. The tannins are present and nicely defined. Marked, even, winnowing the sweetness of the fruit to a tenser savoury meld. This is far from a second-tier knock-back. Indeed, it holds its head high among a fine range of wines.'