Having been a fan of new world wines for many years now, I had the pleasure of being introduced to those from Mitolo recently. The winery was founded in South Australia by Frank Mitolo in 1999, then in 2001 he was joined by the legendary winemaker Ben Glaetzer; who managed to scoop Young Wine Maker of the Year on more than one occasion (until he was too old) and numerous other awards along his way.
The fruit for this wine is grown in the Willunga district of the McLaren Vale in South Australia, which is one of their premium growing regions, especially for Shiraz, which accounts for around 50% of total vines planted. The soil structure is that of heavy grey loam over sandstone, which is excellent at retaining water, thus requiring minimal irrigation. The climate is slightly warmer than the average for the region, helping to give the grapes a greater intensity in flavour and juicy ripe tannins, the cool afternoon sea breezes and nights help to extend the ripening period and maintain the acidity levels.
In the glass, it had an opaque crimson/purple colour, with really pronounced aromas of dark fruits, cherries, plums and cassis, with a touch of sweet spice, liquorice, coming through from the background. On the palate you got these wonderfully intense jammy flavours of plums and dark cherries coming through, and then you got the sweet spice which just combined with the intense fruit flavours perfectly. Merge this with just enough acidity to make your mouth water and the juicy, ripe tannins and you got a stunning and well put together glass of wine.
This, I have to say, was not what I was expecting, I expected it to be far more spice than fruit, which is what you tend to expect from an Aussie Shiraz, but this was the exact opposite, and was just absolutely stunning. To go along with all the fruit, it had a great structure as well, making this such an enjoyable wine that I’d highly recommend, especially with the dark nights and colder weather setting in.