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Friday, 25 February 2011

Massena Tasting, Bar Barossa, Brisbane

I'm often guilty of attending tastings more for the people present as much for the wines available on taste.  That statement might also be subtext for "I enjoy the wines too much".  

I liked the cut of the jib of this Jaysen Collins fellow.  Together with business partner, Dan Standish, the two have crafted some excellent wines that you wouldn't exactly call out as from your standard Barossan moulds.  

The Surly Muse 2009 Viognier
Rhone influenced.  They wanted to make a wine that wasn't confined to what the Barossa was about.  Typically the wine is picked over two periods: the first pick is around 10 baume, the wine sits on lees, ferments naturally, the second pick about 4 weeks later.  Not your typical Apricotty Viognier.  Exhibited grassy, herby notes but with pronounced crispness and acidity.

2008 Barbera
Made with 40/50% whole bunch action, basket pressed then it' into the tank for secondary fermentation.  Not filtered, it effectively does so itself.  The wine was low in tannin, lean and acidic with lots of bright fruit expression on its mid-weight palate.

2010 Primitivo
The cuttings from this wine came from Puglia in Italy's south.  Again its a fairly natural wine in that it sees no oak treatment.  Up front there is plenty of pure fruit expression which is supplemented by some back end spice.  It was commented on the night that you can literally taste the ferment.

2008 Moonlight Run GSM (with some Cinsault so its a GSMC 55/25/15/5%)
Seen as the 'heart of Massena' for it was the wine first made.  Spends 18-20m in old oak to age the wine rather than to lend the oak to it.  Opens with aromas of Raspberry, cornichon and some pepper.  Good balance in the palate and a savoury finish in contrast to its sweeter beginnings.

2008 11th Hour Shiraz
Name is derived from Jason and Dan's 11th hour rescue of some 60 year old vines that were getting pulled.  The wine itself is now made from vines ranging from 30-120 years old.  Good Barossan Shiraz with plenty of chocolately notes and dark brooding masses of fruit; concluding with some good tannin.

2008 Howling Dog Durif
Lower in tannin than I was expecting for a Durif/ Petite Sirah.  Jaysen advised that extended time on skins leads to the tannins coming down naturally with no need for chemical intervention.  Dark almost porty notes with dried fruit presence.  Some tannin, but as mentioned less than expected.

2007 The Looting Duke Shiraz
Named after Napoleon's 2nd General, Massena - a looter and pillager by all accounts. Total production of 100 cases.  The wine was borne from 2 rows of Durif and a block of Shiraz that looked a bit different.  The two were co-fermented to produce this typical Shiraz of structured fruit with increased tannin at the back end


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