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World Wine – How cool is this? Minimalist, edgy, fresh, non-conformist and dangerously drinkable. The hipsters will love this brand-new field blend from Massena Vineyards in the Barossa Valley, one of the Artisans of the Barossa collective. But so do old beardies like myself. Winemaker Jaysen (such a trendy name) Collins has a very different take on winemaking, saying he “makes spontaneous decisions how to make the wine.” Around a dozen different grape varieties from the Eden Valley go into this blend; including muscat, riesling and other whites, along with red varieties including grenache and mataro. Some of the fruit is from old vines and it sees a short amount of skin contact to lift the funk levels up a few degrees. Think sweet and sour notes, muscaty and citrus flavours, brisk acid and impressive refreshment. — Winsor Dobbin, Winsor's Choice, 11/8/17
About This Wine
Aromatic varietals from a mixed planting.
Old Barossa vineyards tended to be mixed plantings of different varieties, with the aim of making fortified or brandy. The Eden Valley block on the Eastern Side of Springton was planted to make brandy back in 1855. To make the best spirit, varieties that were picked early and retained acidity and freshness were preferred. This makes a perfect opportunity to make a zippy, aromatic light dry white that is a truly vibrant and eclectic wine.
Hand harvesting a mixed block is usually tedious in trying to separate varieties destined for single varietal wines, however the winery hand harvested all the varieties together. Picking into small bins allowed some foot crushing of the fruit to ensure contact with both stalks and skins. After 24 hours of cold soaking, the remaining grape clusters and juice was elevated into the press and gently squeezed such that only the free run juice was collected. Fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel, a light amount of lees stirring has given a textured palate whilst retain the razor like acidity that this block was planted for.
Reflecting the mixed planting, a complex and intriguing aromatic mix of the atypical muscat aromas with white peach and nectarine, honeydew, lemon sorbet and grapefruit pith. A firm palate of ruby grapefruit astringency combined with nervy acidity, homemade lemonade sweet and sour balance give a truly eclectic, unconventional white wine.
Barossa Valley Wine
The Barossa Valley wine region has historically and currently still is one of Australia's most prestigious premium wine producing regions. Located just 60km north east of Adelaide city centre, the climate there is very hot and dry which is perfect for the big bold reds the area is famous for.
A straight Shiraz is what Barossa is most well known for, however Rhone blends, such as Shiraz Cabernet are also very popular. While much less prevalent, white wines (Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon) are planted on the higher altitude hillsides where the ocean breeze cools temperatures down to a level suitable for producing these varieties as well.
Some of Australia's earliest Shiraz plantings can be found here dating as far back as the 1850's. While not always a guarantee of quality, it might be worth seeking out and trying one of the region's "old vine shiraz" if you haven't yet.