“95 points. Waves of spice, dark chocolate, black cherry and plum fill the bouquet and palate, the oak important but not OTT.” James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion
McLaren Vale produces some of Australia’s most elegant Shiraz. The regular sea breeze off the nearby ocean effects a Mediterranean climate and allows the grapes to ripen gradually, developing the rich flavours of Shiraz, but with more elegance and refined characters than those from hotter areas.
Primo Estate produces some of the best Shiraz from the region, as well as a range of wines based on Joe’s Italian heritage.
As James Halliday notes “Joe Grilli has always produced innovative and excellent wines”
The 2018 Primo Estate Shale Stone Shiraz has all the classic spiciness and plummy richness that is typical of McLaren Vale Shiraz. But what really sets it apart is the perfume and mineral texture that come from the fruit grown in the shale stone soils of their higher altitude Angel Gully Vineyard in the McLaren Vale sub-region of Clarendon. This gives the wine a perfumed elegance and an appealing softness that makes this a wine to savour.
Since Primo Grilli established the vineyards in 1973 at Virginia, to the north of Adelaide, Primo Estate has been producing excellent wine. When his son, Joe, took over winemaking responsibilities in 1979 following his graduation as Dux of the winemaking course at the prestigious Roseworthy College, Primo Estate really took off. Their ground-breaking Joseph Moda, the first ever Amarone-style wine in Australia confirmed Primo’s reputation as one of the most innovative wineries in Australia.
In 2006 Joe took the decision to move the winery near to the vineyards he had established in McLaren Vale, still keeping the vineyards at Virginia. The wheel turned full circle in 2014 when Joe’s Daniel son graduated dux of Adelaide University’s Wine Science degree, the successor to the Roseworthy course, a unique father / son double. The family’s future is now secured by the third generation, Daniel is active in the winemaking, Joe’s other son Matteo is general manager, and daughter Elena works at the cellar door on weekends.
As Joe says, the family is living La dolce vita, Australian-style.
“McLaren Vale shiraz, straight down the line. This is the one to buy from the Primo Estate range of reds. It feels and tastes good and the price is very reasonable” Campbell Mattinson (Winefront.com.au)
The colour is intense bright purple. The aromas are astonishing with a lifted brace of blackberries, spice and even a perfume like touch of blueberries. The palate shows rich plum fruit and spice with a touch of minerality, while the finish has wonderful fruit softness and delicious length.
An extraordinary McLaren Vale Shiraz that will cellar well for up to a decade, but is so deliciously perfect now, any argument for delayed gratification is almost academic
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