This 2017 Aglianico is drawn from vines rooted in the quartz shot clay and granite of Caj Amadio's vineyard near Kersbrook in the northern Adelaide Hills, (300 metres above sea level). Aglianico is a late ripening variety - more so at this kind of altitude - and these are Spinifex's last vines to be harvested. Aglianico has shown a great affinity for this site with the fruit ripening very late, typically just before the break in the season, with deep flavours, fresh tannins and high natural acids.
Here's an Aglianico that could be an Exhibit A in the case for SA growers to pay more attention to this Mediterranean gem.
"Aglianico has shown a great affinity for this site with the fruit ripening very late, typically just before the break in the season, with deep flavours, fresh tannins and high natural acids," says winemaker Pete Schell.
Fully destemmed and naturally fermented, the juice spends around two weeks on its skins and is matured in large and small format wood (and a portion of stainless steel). To capture the variety's perfume and bright fruit, it's bottled at ten months without filtration. With the exception of a little sulphur dioxide it was made without any trimmings. Bottled under screwcap.
Liquorice, camphor, black jelly bean, dark berries and a sweet lift of cinnamon and nutmeg. The colour is so deep and intimidating. Epic wine.
Spinifex was started in 2001 with the opportunity to source some great old vine Mataro growing in deep white drift-sand on the Barossa Valleys’ Western Ridge. Owned by husband and wife team, Peter Schell and Magali Gely, their focus is on regional wines from the traditional Mediterranean grape varieties that have been grown successfully in Australia for over 150 years - Shiraz, Mataro, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Ugni Blanc, Grenache Gris, Marsanne and Semillon. They aim to make wines that display signatures of vineyard provenance and vintage, show regional typicity and have a consistent thread of 'house style' that reflects their preferences and experiences with wine. The wines they choose to make are predominately blends, the synergies derived from blending wines of differing character enhance the subtle complexities, even textures and profound personalities delivered from great old vine vineyards.
Lovely licorice, spice, walnut and stone aromas and flavors. Some cloves, too. Medium body. Integrated tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Shows focus and beauty for this Italian varietal. Drink now. Screw cap.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Very deep, bold, glass-staining purple/red colour. The aromas are fresh and bright, young and clean and modern, fruit-driven and bold. The palate is likewise full-bodied and rounded, fruit-sweet and soft, with lots of ripe berry fruits, and ample but supple tannins, which provide an excellent backbone. A delicious modern style - Wine of the Week
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
From the significantly Italian-accented Amadio vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, this aglianico is a departure from the Rhone staples that form the baseline of Pete Schell of Spinifex’s work. Cool breeze. Sour and ripe cherry scents, a touch of raspberry lolly, green herbs and faint fennel. The palate is juicy, soft in a way, touched by sweet-sour fruit character, fine sheath of tannins, tangy acidity and good swirl of gummy tannin. This is great fun to drink, it feels, with detail in tow. Very nicely done.