2010 Kangarilla Road 'Terzetto'

One of the things I admire about Kangarilla Road, apart from their quality great value wines is the image of the vine leaf on their front labels. Unique and quite stunning. There are three on this bottle, one for each of the varieties contained within.   

m√©nage √† trois of Italian varieties from the McLaren Vale blending the big three reds Sangiovese (45%), Primitivo (35%) and Nebbiolo (20%). The term terzetto is a reference to all things three in Italian, but primarily to literature and music and there is much to write and sing about this quirky first release from Kevin and Helen O'Brien's winery.

Kangarilla Road has been around since the mid-1970's but the O'Briens have stamped - or is that stomped -  their imprimatur since 1997 with an impressive portfolio of Italian varietals produced in organic and biodynamic vineyards from sustainable viticultural techniques.   

The Terzetto was aged in a combination of older French and American oak for 14 months prior to release with silver medal success at the 2012 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in the Other Red - Italian Varieties and Blends category. 

Translucent ruby red colours. Lifted aromas of fresh roses, savoury plum, chocolate, vanillin with hints of tobacco smoke are intense and a mouth-watering preamble to the main act. A beautifully balanced sum of its impressive varietal parts, the Terzetto delivers a medium-bodied, texturally very smooth wine to the drinker. Spicy cherry and plum fruit flavours dominate the palate supported by dry, mouth-puckering tannins across the tongue. Nuances of cinnamon, earth and tar here as well. Long close of spicy black cherry. Rich, juicy and deliciously easy on the synapses. Hopefully we get to wax lyrical in future editions. Recommended.

Source: Winery Sample. Alcohol: 14.0%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $22.00. Rating: 90 Points. Website: http://www.kangarillaroad.com.au/

2012 Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Negro Amaro

Indigenous solely to the southern Italian region of Puglia and particularly to its south-eastern Salento peninsula, Negro Amaro is a dark-skinned grape noted for producing robust and appealing rustic wines best known in DOC Salice Salentino and Copertino wines. Not unlike Aglianico, it is an ancient variety with an interesting history dating back to a wine believed to have been brought to Puglia by Illyrian settlers prior to the Greek colonisation there in the 7th century BC. 

When the Roman Empire went belly up, winemaking followed suit leaving Benedictine and Greek Orthodox monks in the Puglia region to keep the Negro Amaro grape alive and thriving.     

There is a belief that the meaning of Negro Amaro is derived from its modern day translation of black bitter. Whatever its etymology, it would appear that the confluence of Latin (negro) and Greek (maru) cultural empires was more instrumental in reference to the grape's colour black black rather than to the contemporary translation. 

This is the third vintage from the Torzi Matthews' vineyards in Barossa Valley's Koonunga Dunes sub-region. Only a handful of wineries are at present producing Negro Amaro wines, a fact that should change given the variety's suitability in viticultural terms to warmer regions.      
Negro Amaro Grapes

Dense purple, almost black in the glass. Darth Vader black. Light is sucked in and disappears. A lifted nose of sour black cherry, black plum and violet aromas. Light to medium bodied. There are fresh spicy cherry, liquorice and white pepper flavours across the palate. Smooth texturally with bitter, dark, silky tannins. Little oak to speak of. Young and tight from the outset - perhaps because the vines are five years old - it needed to calm, which it did the second evening like the Aglianico. A persistent finish of spicy cinnamon and earthy notes. As the vines age, it'll be interesting to sample future vintages. A good wine.

Source: Winery Sample. Alcohol: 13.9%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $22.00. Rating: 87+ Points.
Website: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/home/