Tonic Mataro 2018
Mataro continues to blossom apace as the sleeper red variety of South Australia. Fortunately the drinking public seems to agree. Have to admit we're still waiting for the #lastnightmatarosavedmylife hashtag to go viral, but we persist. It will happen!
And to go with the hashtag the 2018 vintage has served up a Tonic classic. Like the Chardonnay from Bowe Lees, our Mataro has always come from Norm's Block in Armagh, Clare, so we have a real feel for the place after 5 years. It's a lovely patch of dirt, which now contains both older and younger vine rows (the younger vines go to the Rose).
We hand picked the older vine material in perfect condition before de-stemming about 65%, leaving the rest as whole bunches. It was foot stomped and then hand plunged early and regularly before a natural fermentation began. The juice eventually spent 37 days on skins before being basket pressed to old French oak barrels, where it sat on its yeast lees quietly and untouched until racking and bottling in January 2019. No fining or filtration, as per usual.
There is more purity of fruit in the 2018 edition. Dark, glossy fruit floods the palate and hints of grilled meats and fresh and dried herbs provide aromatic highlights. It's medium bodied with spice, amaro and even a fresh-cut rose perfume this year. Showing its warm year character there's a plumpness of fruit on the palate before the long finish is drawn out with savoury, biscuity tannin.
195 dozen made <> 13.6% alc / vol
What others said about the 2017 vintage...
“Winemaker Glenn Barry is many things but elegant is not one of them. While the Portet wine is all about grace and charm, Barry's uncouth and unkempt Mataro is a brilliant reflection of the winemaker and the variety. The wine is black and brooding, slightly hairy and dishevelled. It makes you think it's been grown in some of the blackest dirt on earth. It's chewy and a little gritty, like eating meat off a bone pulled straight from the fire. It's wild, slightly scary and utterly delicious.” Nick Ryan, The Australian Newspaper, June 2018
What others said about the 2016 vintage...
Review by Gary Walsh at http://www.winefront.com.au (Apr 2017)
“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