Had me singing Pendulum
Tintilla Tarantella 2009 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
13.5%, Screwcap, $30
For the life of me I can’t find any reference to a vintage on this bottle. It might be in the small print somewhere on the back but I couldn’t spot it. Maybe that’s the next fad – non vintage reds….
This is a blend of Sangiovese, Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot which I’m sure you’ll admit is an odd recipe for the Hunter Valley (though not for Tuscany, the inspiration for this wine). What’s more, the Sangiovese spent 2 years in oak, which is odder still for the region (where oak is more and downplayed these days). Given all this oddness I gave the wine a full 24 hour look-see to try and wrap my head around it (I’m thorough. Sometimes). Oh and Tarantella is a dance from Puglia in southern Italy, so named as it looks like you’re a spider freaking out and waving your multiple legs around (or such).
It certainly smells Italianate, with the first whiff one of Italian sausage. Italian sausage, wrapped in slightly candied red fruit and then rolled in a little red Hunter dirt. That candied edge is intriguing actually, and it curiously made me think about Lambrusco. I almost expected a hint of spritz on the palate, such was it’s tutti-frutti action. Yet it tastes completely Sangiovesean (of Sangiovese) with a sweet and rich, oak reinforced tannic palate that has some weight to it, though with something of a big hole through most of the back palate, then finishing with drying oak tannins.
It’s actually pretty solid, an entirely pleasant wine, if just a bid odd and jumbled. 16.5/88