As masked Mataro warriors we attend the secret Keepers of the Flame Ceremony each year where we have to present (powerpoint not allowed) what we've done to promote this most epic of uncool varieties. We tried really hard to get the #lastnightmatarosavedmylife hashtag to go viral, but clearly we lost too many along the way and the Keepers were displeased. We didn't go Indeep far enough it seems. Thinking hats back on for the coming year.
Anyway, back to the Tonic Mataro, which again came from Norm's Block in Armagh. 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 (late and slightly nerve-wracking but remember "there's not a problem that I can't fix...'Cause I can do it in the mix") and whisked it back to the winery where 30% was left as whole bunches and the rest de-stemmed. It was foot stomped after a day or two and then hand plunged early and regularly before a natural fermentation began. The juice eventually spent 45 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 February 2017. No fining, no filtration, just disco.
This is Tonic Mataro in spades: musky, moody, wildly spicy, dark berry fruited...hopefully delicious. Heady, meaty, earthy, aromatic, heaps going on. Give it plenty of air and watch the Amaro spice come out in force. Enjoy.
150 dozen made <> 13.7% alc / vol <> N.B. no wax seal any more
What others said about the last vintage (2016)...
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
12 bottles of Mataro 2017 ($36)
Dozen price: $432
Tonic Member price: $372