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In the sensational Pyrenees red-wine vintage of 2010, we were lucky enough to get our hands on some terrific Sangiovese fruit from Shays Flat, near Landsborough on the western edge of the Pyrenees.
An offer too good to pass up, it left us with a little bit of a problem; we'd never made Sangiovese before!
So, what to do? First, we bled off some of the juice in a saignée fashion, to create about half of our Mitchell Harris Rosé 2010 (the other half being Macedon Pinot Noir.) The remainder has now been maturing in old oak hogsheads for about a year now, and it's time to work out what to do with it!
Options included :
- Doing nothing, bottling up as is...
- Blending with some beautiful Pyrenees Shiraz for some bright fruit.
- And/or blending in some Cabernet Sauvignon in a Super-Tuscan style.
With thanks to Anthony d'Anna at Boccaccio Cellars in Melbourne, we put together a bunch of great Australian Sangioveses, and some Italian Chiantis to match the Mitchell Harris offerings against.
It was time to get some clever heads and palates together...
We gathered a few folk together, some from the wine & food scene here in Ballarat, a couple of Sangio-loving medicos and even a couple of ex-Sommeliers for a blind benchmark tasting.
Nine great wines were tasted, and what did we find?
- Australia has some absolutely brilliant Sangioveses, that match it with the Italians any day...
- The straight Mitchell Harris Sangiovese was very much a favourite, and certainly more popular than our blended trials.
- We should all be drinking more of this great food matching wine.
So do yourself a favour, get some Sangiovese into your cellar or onto your table, and while you're at it, keep an eye out for the "crowd-sourced" Mitchell Harris Pyrenees Sangiovese 2010!