It’s something we need more of in the wine industry. More authenticity, less made up brands. Less mid-tier reserve wines, more genuine wine labels. More single vineyards, less South Eastern Australia.
Actually, there are plenty of winemakers pumping out authentic wines – and Dom Torzi is one of them.
Here is have a maker with a mission to champion the uncool, delivering wines from old vines in the Adelaide outskirts. More importantly, they’re wines that are proudly rough edged and full-flavoured, sacrificing a little polish for depth.
In other words, reds with heart and authenticity, priced for drinking.
This collection represents a few of the wines available from Dom’s various projects – loads more on the Old Plains website.
Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2016
The Longhop wines are made by Dom Torzi and Tim Freeland. This Grenache comes from Adelaide Plains vines planted in the ‘50s, the wine including a portion of whole bunches. The appeal here is the liquid raspberry fruit generosity with sandy tannins. Those tannins are rough edged, but the grip and weight of this is just great. You can just imagine the concentration of those Grenache berries. And all this for $20? Impressive. Best drinking: Now to ten years easy. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $20. Would I buy it? Sure would.
Longhop Shiraz 2016
From old vines in the Mt Lofty Ranges also planted in the 1950s. Partial whole bunch and basket pressed. While the Grenache is red fruited with firm sandy tannins, this goes more purple fruit, a little spice and more plushness. It’s saturated with plum and blueberries with a finish punctuated by sweet alcohol warmth, the style again concentrated and long. Lots of mouthfilling fruit here and again just $20. Best drinking: Now to 10 years. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $20. Would I buy it? Yes.
Longhop Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Adelaide Plains fruit. Luscious purple fruited style with some surprising mint and then drying, minty tannins. A big mouthful of wine, the luscious fruit offsetting the minty tannins. After the lush Shiraz and classic Grenache this feels a bit raw and minty. But again, that concentration is a winner. Best drinking: will likely be better next year, then up to 10 years. 17/20, 90/100. 14%, $20. Would I buy it? A glass.
Old Plains Clone Shiraz 2017
Single vineyard, single clone (1127) Shiraz from Marananga. Polished purple fruit style with plump chunky flavours and well integrated oak. Has lots of fruit but I thought this was missing concentration and length. Pleasant though. Best drinking: To eight years. 16.8/20, 89/100. 14.5%, $25. Would I buy it? A glass.
For something completely different…
Francesco Grillo Collina Calcerea Syrah 2017
In a crown sealed long neck bottle, this is Dom Torzi’s tribute wine to his Mum, using fruit from a 4yo vineyard in Angaston township. Handpicked, 50% whole bunches, hand bottled. There is an absolute energy in this directly juicy Shiraz. Blood and bone, dried plum – it’s like bottled wine fruit juice, but with a meaty purple chunkiness. Unfined, unfiltered and minimal preservatives – it’s just pure meaty Syrah goodness. And it’s a delicious drink. It’s not polished or super clean but such peppery meaty juicy energy. Yes. Best drinking: Now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12.9%, $30 for 640ml. Would I buy it? A good drink.