On the Road with the Grape Guy
A Zonte's Tasting and Podcast31 Mar 2023
- Category: On the Road with the Grape Guy
(November 2022) ... To listen to the interesting history of Brad Rey and the birth of Zonte's Footsteps, I invite you to listen to it here.
And/or read about the wines tasted below:
Starter wines: four wines tasted, three white / one rosé. Of these, the prosecco style wine made from the original prosecco grape, now called Glera in Italy; The Excalibur 2021 Sauvignon Blanc is another wine tasted in this round – it takes it's aroma from New Zealand, but is pure Australian on its expressive palate. A 2021 Lady Marmalade Vermentino delivers on the level of a viognier / semillon with a mix of flavors: pretty floral and minerality; and a rosé that also delivers on refreshment, but not much more to say about that.
The Regionality of Shiraz ...
Being a Canadian in Australia, Brad felt he had to be all about Shiraz, but he wanted to take a different look at it: from a regional standpoint, and not a mass-market, money-making standpoint. His goal is to show the expression of Shiraz in different parts of Australia – and primarily some of the most popular versus those that are a little less well known … I think he's done an admirable job as the notes below clarify:
Lake Doctor (Langhorne Creek) - Olive, leafy, licorice, minerality, spiced plum... This is the only one that is co-fermented with Viognier (about 1%) to add that floral element.
The Chocolate Factory (McLaren Vale) - Cocoa, blackberry, black, cherry, sweet fruited and quite the dark fruit forwardness, also with a lovely acidic balance.
Interesting to note that the above two wines
make up 33% of the Zonte's production.
Baron Von Nemesis (Barossa Valley) - named appropriately, because Brad never wanted to make Barossa Valley Shiraz, and if given the chance he'd quit it, but the accountants won’t let him ... Big and ballsy yet with plenty of finesse: dark chocolate, plum with a spiced-raspberry forwardness on the palate.
Hills are Alive (Adelaide Hills) - subtle spice, floral, pretty with smoke, spice and a raspberry, strawberry showdown on the finish.
Other wines of note
2017 Dawn Patrol (Pinot Noir)
Using Dijon clones and the first planting of Pinot Noir in South Australia (roughly 1979 and on their own rootstock) ... It has Pinot character that is not often found in Aussie Pinot: spicy, earthy, gentle and savoury, plenty of complexity with a peppery-floral finish. (****+)
2021 Splitting Hares (Tempranillo / Grenache)
Pure raspberry juiciness with a jammy quality without being over the top. Pretty with floral, nice tannins, white pepper along with some savoury and herbal notes. Really appealing and a perfect wine to chill. (****+)
To learn more about Zonte’s Footstep – click here to hear the podcast