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Sunday 12 February 2012

Chapel Hill Mourvèdre 2010

On this journey I've often wondered what is Australia's best region for Mataro, or the best region for making wines in the style of Bandol.  I think if I were a Mataro vine, I'd be quite happy facing into the Western sun, with a view out towards the Gulf of St Vincent as these vines do.  

From a 20 year old block near to the Victory Hotel at the bottom of Sellick's Hill, this 2010 release is the second from Chapel Hill.  From the hands of Michael Fragos, a Willunga boy at heart.  I read in a profile on Fragos, from Gourmet Traveller in 2008, that he's a man intent on being in-tune with the vines from which the fruit comes, a man hell-bent on making wines with balance and inherent drinkability. 

Quite vivid in the glass, the wine has a vibrancy to it, more than just a hue, or a purple rim, it's positively radiant.  A fantastic perfume greets you on approach, black forest fruits, blueberries, violets and kirsch.  Good Mataro can be like a joy ride, offering thrills and pleasure with every turn - as with this wine, stick your nose in and come back with something else each time you look.

Upon entry it reveals itself to be effortlessly smooth, the flow into the mouth shows the liquorice elements oft found in good examples of the varietal, further supported by smooth chocolate character.  There's excellent persistence exhibited, silken tannin, its a wine of drive and length.

Fantastic wine.  It seems at odds to not even talk of the 15% alcohol, yet it was barely noticeable.  The balance sought, achieved.  92 - Very Good

Source: Sample
Price: $30 
Alcohol: 15%
Closure: Screwcap

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[This post was edited at 13:40 on 12/02/2012 to reference the Gourmet Traveller article featuring a profile on Michael Fragos]


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