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There's been an evolution of style for this wine over the last few vintages, from 100% Petit Sirah to this fascinating blend from 2014. After plenty of experimentation, winemakers Jasen Collins and Dan Standish have concocted a completely unique wine for this release. The 2014 is a blend of Saperavi, Petit Sirah (Durif) and Tannat, three varieties that pack some serious power. What's compelling about this wine is the restraint. Where it would be all too easy to make this into a hulking monstrosity of a wine given its DNA, the balance and freshness evident here is well worth applauding. In his 95 point review, James Halliday called it "infinitely powerful and compact, a vinous black hole in space, yet retains sufficient balance to guide it through decades of change." Yes it's big but it's done with class. A great job done by the Massena team and a wine definitely worth exploring.
What it Tastes Like
Inky black, olives and iodine, blackberry and black pepper. It's density is incredible, it's like there's a magnums worth of fruit crammed into the bottle. Satsuma plum and clove with supportive oak smoothing out the mouthfeel. Tannins are mighty by not overbearing. Such an interesting drink.
95 points. "A deeply coloured, ultra-exotic blend: 72% saperavi, 16% petite sirah (durif), 12% tannat; has all the qualities its varietal parentage promise; it is infinitely powerful and compact, a vinous black hole in space, yet retains sufficient balance to guide it through decades of change." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
Early experimental batches of Petite Sirah (some as small as 120kg’s) produced wines that were rich and deep, but had pronounced tannins that caused tasters to release a slight howl as it crossed the palate. We later planted other naturally tannic varietals Tannat and Saperavi and with lessons learnt, the only howl we hear now is one of enjoyment!
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2024
About the Producer
Part of the elite group of wineries in the ‘Artisans of the Barossa’ cellar door, Dan Standish and Jaysen Collins’ label Massena is a force to be reckoned with. After leaving their respective jobs at industry big dogs Torbreck and Turkey Flat they started their own brand in 2000 to produce wines that are in their own words “true to the Barossa style, being rich, warm and generous.”
The Barossa has a big reputation. Big in every sense of the word. Known for producing blockbusting examples of impenetrable old vine Shiraz and Grenache envied by much of the world, it is a region that should be celebrated as the region that first put Australian wine on the map. Now, with a new generation of winemakers reinventing the region, there’s more than just power in the Barossa’s bag of tricks. With a move toward picking earlier and pulling back on oak maturation, there’s a fresher, more subtle side to Barossa wine which offers plenty to the modern Australian wine lover.
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