One of my favourite alternative varieties from the Granite Belt (or “Strangebirds” in local parlance) has to be Saperavi. Normally a native of Georgia, this grape has really found a second home in here in the high altitude granitic soils. While an alternative variety in Australia, it’s definitely no stranger to the spotlight, holding their own in collecting awards back in the homeland in Georgia!
This Saperavi from Ridgemill Estate is definitely no exception, with the distinct varietal characters of Saperavi shining through, with a Western/Aussie twist of oak barrelling.
Fascinating as it comes out of the bottle with its intense inky purple colour, (Saperavi literally means “paint, dye” in Georgian) being a teinturier grape – both its flesh and skin are a dark in colour.
On the nose is pronounced rich blueberry, stewed black plum and blackberry flavours. Underpinning chocolate, liquorice and Asian spice tones set in to frame the unique picture of this wine.
Big and full body as you’d expect, yet balanced acidity and alcohol. Bold, youthful tannins, but with edges tamed to produce a smooth long finish. This will age beautifully over many years, but with its fresh fruit characters can be enjoyed now.
Best paired with friends around a table on a sunny British afternoon. If you don’t have those, then nice roast game or chunky rich stew.
Key Facts: Purple Hands Wines Planta Circa Grenache 2018
Own-rooted ancestor Grenache vines on the Zerk Vineyard, Lyndoch, Barossa Valley, Australia, planted circa 1880-1890.