As you may know, we are sceptical of mystery wines here at MyWineGuy, as all-too-often the 'mystery' is why anyone would pay the full rack retail price.
But then up lobs a Barossan statement wine that can't be ignored - a cutting edge Shiraz Mataro Grenache, from a fourth-generation winegrowing family with a biodynamic vineyard farmed at Kalimna, deep in the Barossan 'Grange country'.
The interesting part is here the Grange connection. While the two young gun fourth-generation lads now running this cutting-edge Barossan winery, the third generation patriarch was a key Penfolds viticulturist in the 90s, which ultimately pulled the family to plant in the deep rich soils of the western Barossa.
Yet don't be fooled, this 2018 Mystery Barossa Shiraz Mataro Grenache is not another Pennies pretender. Instead, at just 13% alcohol it sings a song of beautiful fragrant fruit, succinctly described by Mike Bennie as a 'bright and vivacious red wine style', a 'smooth red for supping in a big glass' with a perfect balance of bright fruit, spice and generosity in a lucid Barossan Pinot style.
For anyone who appreciates the new generation of Barossan Shiraz and Grenache blends from the likes of Spinifex, Schwarz and Sons of Eden then this red is a breath of fresh air. A $25 red, that could comfortably hold it's own amongst $35 reds.
This wine is made up of Shiraz, Mataro and Grenache, all grown here on the vineyards surrounding the Cellar Door. They have been running their vineyard using organic practices since August 2013, and biodynamic practices since July 2017.
The Shiraz, Mataro and Grenache were all harvested separately, when each variety was at optimum ripeness. All three varieties were destemmed in the vineyard, and whole berry, natural fermentation was allowed to commence. Fermentation took place in old concrete fermenters and the ferments were foot stomped, twice daily, to minimise extraction. Once each variety reached dryness, they were basket pressed and put to old French oak for 15 months. Each variety was kept separate until it was blended just prior to bottling. No filtration prior to bottling, and no fining agents were used, so this wine is Vegan friendly.
Earthy char, red fruits along with black tea, leather and spice on the nose. The palate is vibrant with bright red fruits, along with clove, spice and a minerally, savoury edge.
NED GOODWIN - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
I like the variant on the ubiquitous GSM blend which, frankly, should it connote a varietal dominance of that order, does not always suit the material at hand, nor the regional turf. This does! There is plenty of jubey succulent fruit here, largely of a darker persuasion. A gentle waft of reductive tension, too. Nothing out of place. But what makes this wine sing across glass after glass is the working of real tannin. Succulent, moresih tannin driven by a proper extraction regime. Fully destemmed and foot-stomped, apparently. Delicious thrills with an ever so slight chill.
MIKE BENNIE - WINE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Bright and vivacious red wine style of strong forest berry fruitiness...