My 2013 winemaker(s) of the year
I wrote this back in December for a print article. It’s a bit of fun really, but these two producers deserve the love.
It’s that time of the year again – the list making season. Normally I prefer to avoid the whole ‘Best of’ malarkey that is so popular in December and January, yet this year there are a few lesser- known winemakers and producers well worth a plug. Actually there are hundreds of lesser known producers who really deserve a plug, but I’ve got enough space to write about two…
On the budget end of the price scale, it’s hard to go past the good work of Domenic Torzi of Torzi Matthews (www.torzimatthews.com.au). Dom, along with partner Tracy Matthews, seems to have the Midas touch – tapping into a network of forgotten South Australian vineyards, in uncool regions (like the Adelaide Plains and Mt Lofty Ranges) to come up with great wines for just $15/bottle.
More than just quaffers, Dom’s range of more premium releases has expanded in 2013 too, with a pair of stunning new wines (a Shiraz and a Grenache) that showcase the glory of 110 year old Barossa Valley vines and sell for just $35/bottle.
The secret to the success of all Dom’s wines is quite simple – old, low yielding vineyards and the sort of patient uncompromising winemaking that you only ever see in $75 wines, not $15. How he makes such wines profitable is also unsurprising – he just does everything himself, including growing (and sourcing) the grapes; making the wine; packing the boxes; writing the tasting notes… Everything.
Take a bow Dom Torzi.
On rather more premium scale, the latest releases from Ten Minutes by Tractor are the sort of highly detailed, super-premium Mornington Peninsula wines that I wish I had made myself.
What sets the the ‘Tractor Wines’ (as they’re known in my house) wines apart is simply the level of finesse.
Like much of the Peninsula, the focus here is upon making the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir possible, with everything else (like sparkling) largely seen as a distraction to the main aim – the quest for perfection.
Wine is only part of the Ten Minutes by Tractor story, as the cellar door is also home to one of the finest restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula, known for a style of cuisine that is as defined as the wines. Fittingly, the restaurant wine list is also awe-inspiring, with an unsurprising focus on superb Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from around the world.
Hmm. Who fancies a trip to the Peninsula?
Ten Minutes by Tractor: www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au
Don’t miss: Wallis Chardonnay, McCutcheon Pinot Noir
Torzi Matthews: www.torzimatthews.com.au
Don’t miss: Frost Dodger Shiraz, 1903 Old Vines Grenache Mataro