97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Single vineyard wine from the distinguished Stonegarden vineyard in the Eden Valley, with old vine heritage and limited production. The nose is dark, brooding and intense – warm earth, dried rose petal and dried cake spice mix lift with aeration. Dry, mountainous herbs unfurl with old sage bush, rosemary and dried thyme. A little old wood fire smoke adds to the intrigue. The palate surprises with a graceful wash of sweet black and red fruits tinged with mineral, smoke and earth. The tannins are silky and the acidity is bright and alive. Rhône-esque without emulating. Vivid and highly inviting. Such a lovely wine. Drink now to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
James Halliday "A field blend from a vineyard planted in 1858. Wild yeast, whole bunches included, aged in neutral French oak for 15 months. The ancient vines have produced a wine of great finesse. Cherry-like aromas and flavours with a seasoning of Mediterranean herbs and a faintly smoky note. Silky and seamless on the palate with finely tuned tannin, it's all impeccably balanced."
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
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The Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit “Sweetly ripe and immediately appealing..."
96+ - 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “An outstanding, bone dry release from ancient plantings (1946)."
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit "This is impressively fruited and lifted, showing blackberry, sweet plum, cedar..."
James Halliday "It has richness and a depth of flavour matched to a brightness and vivacity"
Winemaker Notes: A true reflection of the heralded 2018 vintage, where volume and weight is there on show
Winemaker Notes: Flavours of bright red fruits, wild herbs and bright acidity.
"The best of these varieties is selected each year."
Massena was established at the turn of the century by Jaysen Collins and Dan Standish. In Jaysen's own words "What started as an adventure into wine by a couple of gung-ho fellas, looking to make some interesting wine, has truly been a journey. We started off by respecting our old vines and focussing on Grenache and Shiraz, moved quickly into alternative varieties and our production methods always held true to minimal intervention. In some ways we were trailblazers, in front of the curve; in new varieties or style interpretations. Like making dry, light, textured, barrel fermented Rosé in 2007 and getting blank looks as to why we’d being doing this - roll forward ten years and everyone’s got one of these. Why would you plant Saperavi, Primitivo and Tannat in the heady days of the early 2000s Barossa Shiraz obsession? We were looking for drought tolerant, thick skinned or higher acid varieties that would combat our changing climate. When the style was big, black and oaky, ours was herbal, spicy and lowly oaked - designed for the dinner table not a glass staining contest. Now this is becoming the norm in our part of the world."
Jaysen continues "Massena was not started as a profit making, slickly marketed wine company, it was conceptualised to have fun making wine that we liked to drink or had an interest in learning how to make. Our board meetings were on the golf course followed by a long lunch, when we really should have been combing through our sales budgets or strategising our cost saving initiatives. That sounded boring and we were only in it to actually make the wine, not ordering someone to do it for us. The authenticity in Massena is it has always been about making the most interesting wine possible at that given time and thoroughly enjoying the process, not chasing what is the current fad or trend. Then suddenly you become old enough in the cycle that the style of the day just rolls around and finds you!"
A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.
Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.
The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.
It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.
The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region.
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