Massena Surly Muse Viognier/Marsanne 2018

Barossa Valley
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£16.50 per bottle
SAVE £1.45 (was £17.95 per bottle)
51 in stock

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Despite the price tag, I am not afraid to declare this as one of my favourite Aussie white wines. Expertly crafted from a blend of 60% Viognier and 40% Marsanne which are sourced from two, new vineyards on the Western Ridge. The Viognier in Greenock and the Marsanne in Stonewell. The nose is refined and provides a lovely sense of citrus marmalade, minerals (liquorice?), honey, pineapple, and ripe peach. The palate is exquisitely balanced, and I love the bite from the tannins, which provides a perfect frame of structure (as does the acidity). Medium-bodied and so, so pure. The wine is aged 'sur lie' (on lees) for an extended period providing a palate full of texture and phenolics. It’s difficult to pin down precise fruit characters – touches of honey. Currently, this is all about wonderful textures intermixed with stones / minerals. Sensational in its youth but I imagine this will be at its best in 3-5 years. Served in Zalto Universal glassware (I think the Bordeaux glass will provide a better, textural drinking experience). We wanted to purchase a full pallet however, sadly a mere 180 bottles were allocated!

Taste & Aroma

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Despite the price tag, I am not afraid to declare this as one of my favourite Aussie white wines. Expertly crafted from a blend of 60% Viognier and 40% Marsanne which are sourced from two, new vineyards on the Western Ridge. The Viognier in Greenock and the Marsanne in Stonewell. The nose is refined and provides a lovely sense of citrus marmalade, minerals (liquorice?), honey, pineapple, and ripe peach. The palate is exquisitely balanced, and I love the bite from the tannins, which provides a perfect frame of structure (as does the acidity). Medium-bodied and so, so pure. The wine is aged 'sur lie' (on lees) for an extended period providing a palate full of texture and phenolics. It’s difficult to pin down precise fruit characters – touches of honey. Currently, this is all about wonderful textures intermixed with stones / minerals. Sensational in its youth but I imagine this will be at its best in 3-5 years. Served in Zalto Universal glassware (I think the Bordeaux glass will provide a better, textural drinking experience). We wanted to purchase a full pallet however, sadly a mere 180 bottles were allocated!

Glassware

Glassware

Zalto Denk-Art Universal Glass

The Zalto Universal glass is recommended for richer, oaked Sauvignon Blancs such as Hughes & Hughes Barrel & Skins, white Graves or Semillon/Sauvignon blends as well as young and non-vintage Champagne. The Zalto Universal is a very good 'all-rounder', designed for all types of wine but in our opinion may not maximize the potential of certain wines quite as much as the Bordeaux or Burgundy glass.

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Massena

Producer

Massena vineyard

 

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. So 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!"

Region

Barossa Valley Wines

 

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 with trailblazers like Torbreck and St Hallett.

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