The full suite of vinous offerings from enigmatic South Australian producer, Tonic Wines, just dropped this week at DD.
These have been some of the hottest property in the country over the last few years. With a swag of brilliant past reviews, very limited production, some of the sexiest packaging in the known universe, and starting at just $30 a bottle, you don't need to be Elon Musk to work out why.
A clandestine operation born of two friends and a common uncommon love of Mataro, the Tonic MO has always been about deliciousness first and foremost.
This latest batch of releases doesn't deviate from that mission.
"These 2018 releases might be our best set yet."
- Tonic Wines
The real killer (and insane bargain) in the lineup is the 2018 Grenache. This wine combines two Clare Valley vineyards into a rosy, floral, sumptuous version of Grenache which is devastatingly easy to drink. If you're yet to be converted to this oft-maligned grape, the Tonic wine might be the one to do it. It's about as good as $30 gets you in Australian wine these days.
"Exquisite. Completely outside the norm of what we expect of grenache in Australia."
- Campbel Mattinson (The Wine Front) on the previous Tonic Grenache
The 2018 release of Mataro, Chardonnay and Rosé sees the wines a little plumper than last year. More fruit-weight and glorious mouthfeel are the common threads each wine shares this vintage. The Tonic lads told us, "It was a fantastic vintage in the Hills for Chardonnay and Nebbiolo. And while pretty warm and dry in Clare, having access to really old vine, hardy vineyards served us very well and all three Clare wines from 2018 are right in the zone. Loads of flavour and character, but still in the Tonic shape and style."
The one outlier is the 2017 release of Nebbiolo. From a cooler vintage on a single block in the Adelaide Hills, this is a stunning modern example of Australian Nebbiolo, great to drink now or cellar for a while. Unfortunately, the production was limited to only 50 dozen this year, so you'll need to be quick.
This is the first time all five wines in the Tonic stable have been released simultaneously. If you'd like a taste, we recommend you try the sample pack we have put together below. It's the best way to see each of these unique, characterful wines.
And don't muck around, if the last few vintages are anything to go by, they'll be gone before you know it.