2010 Clan Del Sud Green Man Malvasia

The name Clan Del Sud is translated as 'Clan/Family of the South' explained vineyard owner Mark Lewis whose maternal family line extends back some 600 years in southern Italy. It is in recognition of the proud and successful heritage of the Cocozza family throughout history that he continued, was behind the name. 

The Cocozza family has adopted the ancient myth of the Green Man for their wine labels, a symbol of life and rebirth found in vegetation, the natural plant world and to the earth itself. It is a metaphor continued in their philosophy and to their vineyard practices, the vines of which are located on the high, north-facing side of Mt. Samaria in Central Victoria. Lewis described that they had been members of Biodynamic Agriculture Australia for 12 years and hoped to transition to certification in the near future as part of their holistic approach to the environment. 

Malvasia has been identified as the name of an ancient family of grapes not dissimilar to the Muscat family. Its origins stretch back 2000 years to it is believed, Greece and historically was grown throughout Mediterranean countries, particularly in Italy where it flourishes today under a variety of names or clones and styles.  
The variety is not that extensively grown here in Oz - in blends more than straight varietals - and I was surprised to learn that double the number of Greco De Tufo vines existed here last year than Malvasia vines ! 
I do remember some years ago a Riesling/Malvasia blend from the erstwhile Mornington Peninsula winery Ermes Estate. Chalmers blend Malvasia Istriana with Picolit to produce a Passito style dessert wine that is common in Italy. 

The 2010 Green Man Malvasia won a Gold Medal at the 2011 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show and the Trophy: Chairman's "Wine To Watch" (Chief of Judges Max Allen) in its short career. The dry grown Malvasia Istriana grapes from which this wine is made, had only been harvested twenty months earlier with half fermented in stainless steel, the balance in old oak barrels. Simon Steele at Yarra Valley's Medhurst Wines is the winemaker says Lewis and "he is eager to work with us on the Italian varietals we grow" that include both white and red varieties. 

In the glass the old Green Man displays pale straw colours with a greenish tinge. After some breathing, aromas of bosc pear, white flowers, thyme and honey notes. Some hints of roasted almond and baking bread, which was interesting. It is fresh, warm and mouth-watering.

Round and richly textured in taste with nutty, dry herb and peach characteristics backed up by good acid and a mineral backbone. Appealing grapefruit citrus and honey finish. Savoury with some phenolic grip to it. Light to medium-bodied wine with a viscous, almost oily quality. Shows loads of heart and character, an alluring complexity and basically, it's such great drinking. Age has certainly not wearied this Malvasia and let's hope there's more stand alone varietals like this one in future years. Excellent. 

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.0%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $36.00. Rating: 92+ Points.

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