"Clare Valley rose from the Tonic Wines lads, clean and clear as a Spring day. Released in time for the dawning of Summer, but with that in mind the wine could segue to Autumn, handily, such is its light savouriness and added textural interest. Ring the bell, it’s drinking time.
Deceptively light but imbued with fine, cranberry and minerally flavours. It’s chalky in texture, brisk in acidity, clear and crisp and clean. Scents are muted, but you get whiffs of pomegranate, almond and watermelon. Bone dry finish and mouthwatering to close. This is just so spot on."92/100 Points, Mike Bennie, www.winefront.com.au, Nov '17
This week we picked up a few nice reviews from Gary over at Wine Front (http://www.winefront.com.au). As he correctly surmised we have run out of Chardonnay already...damn...it didn't last long. We have a couple of dozen Grenache left and about five dozen Mataro if you're keen.
His words obviously got us thinking deeply about the best way to squeeze corks into squat bottles and if we did indeed wax...who would wear it best? Thanks, as always, to Jimmy and Will for answering most of life's most impenetrable questions. You drinking my sake kemosabe?
“When Dan and Glenn aren’t soaking corks to squeeze into squat bottles, they’re likely waxing. And I think everyone enjoys a smooth wine, don’t they?
Cloudy, but fine. Red fruits, stewed rhubarb, exotic spices, orange peel, and an array of aromatic fresh and dried herbs. Medium bodied, succulent and spicy, with a musky mouth-perfume, a punch of bitter herbs through plump fruit, brick dust tannin, and a savoury finish of ample proportions. Has a point of difference, but also just a lovely expression of Mataro.” 94/100 Points. Drink: 2017 – 2024
“50 dozen made, and probably already sold out. Maybe some available at retail.
It’s a wild struck match, oyster shell and funky chicken affair, grilled nuts, Japanese ginger and white peach, with ruby red grapefruit too. Light to medium bodied, silky and milky, with a firm crunch of acidity and flint, and a tangy citrus-laced finish of maximum chalky length. Charismatic. Great to drink too.” 95/100 Points. Drink: 2017 – 2023
“150 dozen, and mainly from the Churinga Vineyard in Watervale, with the original old vine source from NE Clare still in the mix (and given the 25 dozen from previous years, I’d say it’s about 16%). 50% whole bunch, 31 days on skins, and into old French oak.
Campari, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, white pepper, dried rose and strawberry. It’s light and frisky, with fresh and juicy acidity, cool minerality and ash feel, light but firm rasp of peppery tannin, perfumed and gently tannic on a long finish. Clare Valley meets Etna, or so it feels to me. This is a beautiful, deft and charismatic wine. Unusual, and so good!” 94/100 Points. Drink: 2018 – 2024+
No one makes wine to garner a good score or review, but it's really satisfying when a taster really gets why you're soaking those corks. Here's what Gary Walsh had to say on Wine Front (http://www.winefront.com.au) a couple of days ago.
“54 dozen made with no subtractions and no additions, aside a touch of sulphur. Cork sealed for who knows what reason, aside the two men involved being expert cork soakers. They love to soaka da cork.
It’s a wilder, more textural style of Chardonnay and none the worse for that. Apples dusted with pepper, pickled ginger, white peach and maybe a whiff of honey. Light to medium bodied, kind of tangy and edgy, light powdery texture runs the length of the palate, and then ruby red grapefruit and spice punctuates the finish. Don’t serve it cold, and keep an open mind. Fascinating wine: the longer I spent with it, the more I liked it.” 93/100 Points - Silver. Drink: 2015 – 2018+
“I like what they’re doing with these wines. Seems that picking a little earlier to retain freshness and acidity (and thus reliance on gross excessive tartaric acid additions) then giving it plenty of time on skins to build some weight and texture is working a treat. Old oak. No fining. No filtering. A shining light for South Australian reds, of a certain style. 57 dozen made.
A spicy lighter bodied style with red fruits, hazelnut and aromatic dried herbs. Refreshing and kind of umami flavoured at the same time, with strawberries, red cherry and spice lending it a vibrant appeal. Drag of tannin and a punch of exotic spice in the finish. Delightful. Hard to stop drinking. 93 points for quality plus a bonus point for emphatic approval of style and, well, just being unreal to drink.” 94/100 Points - Gold. Drink: 2015 – 2022
“Sold out at the winery, but some around in restaurants and retail. Only 23 dozen made from a patch of 85 year old vines in NE Clare Valley.
Hats off boys, this is a bloody beauty. Red fruit, spice and perfume – playful and delightful – light bodied and fresh faced with kitten’s tongue tannin and pitch perfect fresh strawberry acidity. Shapely, lithe and superb to drink. It feels energised and energising. More of this sort of style from South Australia, please!” 94/100 Points - Gold. Drink: 2015 – 2020
Well it's been a breathless start for Tonic Wines. It's the end of March now and the wines have been in bottle about two months. They've settled down nicely now and their distinct characters are starting to shine through. A sincere thank you to everyone who has given the wines a go so far.
The juicy, fresh, light to medium bodied style of the Grenache has been a bit of a hit. If it's a hot day don't even hesitate to pop it in the fridge for half an hour to get the temperature down a bit. It's crisper and much more refreshing that way. We are down to our last seven dozen of this wine so if you want to try some in a mixed dozen, get in quick.
The Mataro is darker fruited, a bit fuller and slightly more brooding at this youthful stage, though without any new oak used, it is still pretty light on its feet and crammed full of fresh fruit.
The elements of the Chardonnay: texture from the skin contact, oak from a small new barrel portion and the layered Adelaide Hills fruit, have all started to integrate together nicely. It's a cracking drink - refreshing yet complex - just what we were after.