2015 Massena The Howling Dog Saperavi

Barossa Valley, SA

A wine for the lovers of the massive. This Saperavi is big but delicious!



About The Wine

Saperavi can be a tricky beast to tame. It grows tiny berries with thick skins and red flesh which make thick, dark and tannic wines, generally with huge cellaring potential.

The trick is to maintain approachability with this variety, something the team at Massena have perfected over the last few vintages. This wine is gently caressed from the vine into bottle with the utmost care and skill.

Firstly, the fruit sits on skins for up to six weeks to allow the tannins to soften and integrate naturally. It then sees another six weeks in open fermenters as it undergoes a wild ferment in its own time. The final step is a gentle basket pressing before spending time in second and third use oak and being bottled without sulphur.

The result is a wine with power and elegance in spades. Impenetrable inky black in the glass, it is surprisingly enjoyable as a young wine, though will definitely reward the patient. Apparently, it was named after the little yelps that escaped the tasters mouths upon first encounters with barrel samples of this wine. 

About Massena

Part of the elite group of wineries in the ‘Artisans of the Barossa’ cellar door, Jaysen Collins’ label Massena is a force to be reckoned with.

After leaving their his day job at Turkey Flat Jaysen started his own brand in 2000 along with Dan Standish. Their mission was to produce wines that are in their own words “true to the Barossa style, being rich, warm and generous.”

Jaysen now flies the Massena plane solo. The wines have never looked better.


Critic Reviews

The Wine Front

"The Howling Dog label is about “celebrating varieties that have density and power”. This is so fresh it almost seems raw. It has that tank sample freshness to it; that purple crack of bare fruit flavour. Berries, foresty and spiced. A little chocolate. A lot of floral elements. And mouthwatering acidity. There’s tannin here, slightly twiggy but carried by fruit. It has drinkability writ large." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)

Additional Info

From The Producer

It took us a while to get this one right, when we were first experimenting with Petite Sirah the tannins were so pronounced that tasters actually started howling as it crossed their palate. We later planted other naturally tannic varietals Tannat and Saperavi, softening the tannins so the only howl we hear now is one of enjoyment. Taken from Dadd’s Block on the high side – sandy loam with long sunlight hours and low rainfall. The best of these varieties is selected each year, either on their own or as a blend.

Winemaking: Destemmed into open fermenters, left to spontaneously ferment, then pumped over sporadically for 10 days before some parcels see extended post fermentation maceration for up to 6 weeks. Extended skin contact integrates the tannins and produces a wine that is a lot softer and more approachable when young. Gentle basket pressing follows, with each vineyard parcel kept separate in 2nd and 3rd use French oak hogsheads until just prior to blending and bottling.

Blend : Saperavi (100%)
ABV : 13.5%
Closure : Screw cap
Drink Until : 2025
Bottle Size : 750ml


Shipping & Delivery

We ship primarily with Australia Post. Their fast, easy and reliable delivery is completely FREE for any orders of $150 or more, or just $9 for any orders of $149 or less. There is no minimum order quantity and you can mix and match as much as you like.

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