Two clever Great Southern wines from Castelli
Both these wines come from Denmark on WA’s southern coastline – a beautiful part of the world with stunning beaches and superb cool ‘Indian’ summers. I’ve often thought of cool Denmark as ideally suited to Riesling and Cabernet blends (though some of the Cabs can be leafy), yet Chardonnay, Shiraz and Tempranillo also seems to work well here in select spots.
Castelli ‘Il Liris’ Chardonnay 2012 (Denmark, WA) 12.7% $55
Castelli’s Mike Kelly describes this as a ‘Chardonnay for Riesling lovers’ with a portion of the blend harvested at sparkling base ripeness. Indeed the the huge TA of 8.4g/L and pH of 3.19 are undoubtedly more Riesling numbers than Chard. Yet all that acid is countered with full tilt winemaking – whole bunch pressing straight to barrel and ferment on full solids, with some 40% new oak. It’s nutty too, with a Chassagne-esque weight and full solids wildness but backed with puckering, grainy acidity. Big power and full yeast and oak flavours but underpinned by utterly natural acidity. Such drive! It’s maybe a little toasty oak through the finish, which is going to need some time to settle. Super Chard regardless. 18.5/20, 94/100+
Castelli ‘Il Cavaliere’ 2010 (Denmark, WA) 14.7%
The flagship Castelli red, this is a blend of 56% Cabernet, 37% Shiraz and 5% Malbec. A big and tannin driven style, it’s just a little skinny through the middle and those tannins are a bit raw, but for power and intensity this is a superstar. Perhaps a little dried out but has serious penetration and length. Would like just a little more generosity, but long and will cellar very well. 17.5/20, 91/100
Castelli Estate website: Castelli Estate website