Categorized | Barossa Valley, shiraz et al

Sami-Odi Hoffmann Dallwitz 0.534 2010

Bit of back story here – winemaker Fraser McKinley shaped and honed his winemaking at Torbreck and Turley Wine Cellars (USA) but was lured to do his own thing a few years ago. He still squashes fruit with Dan Standish at the Standish Wine Co, but Sami-Odi is entirely his own. He decided that making wine had to be about growing the stuff too, so he did a hard yards apprenticeship in several vineyards around the Barossa.

This wine comes from his long-term growing project, a vineyard owned by long-time Barossan family Hoffmann.The Hoffmann’s are the growers, out towards Ebeneezer, and they’ve got 108 acres with different vineyards on the land. The famed Dallwitz vineyard has been owned by them since the 1940s. The soils are really rich and red. McKinley explains ‘2006 was when I approached the Hoffmann’s about looking after a small part of their vineyard. So we just sectioned off 4 rows of young vineyard (1995), which kept me busy on a Sunday. I started pruning, shoot thinning and crop thinning. I worked my plot with organics, knowing that spray drift would be an issue, but felt this was best anyway. I looked to get a balanced crop with consistent even ripening. I did this in ’07 and ’08, then on the basis of these practices, Adrian and Jeff Hoffmann decided to farm this way too’. The number of rows has since increased for McKinley’s wines and in 2010 the Hoffmann’s produced their whole first crop organically from this vineyard. A coup for young McKinley, but a partnership is how he likes to think of it.

McKinley’s motivation is to make wines that dont have acid additions, with a very steady eye on picking based on pH, ‘this is so much more important for me, and it’s based on a stylistic choice. pH for me is the most important part – it gives me a rough idea where I will end up’. The wines are picked earlier than most in the Barossa, generally in February, which sounds extraordinary, but it seems to work from this site. After that, there is a small sulphur addition, but everything else is done by foot (gentle pigeage) and gravity.

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Tasted : JAN12
Alcohol : 14.2%
Price : $55
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2012 - 2018
Visit winery website

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The WINEFRONT has flourished as a wine review and information site since 2002. We believe in hard work, realistic scoring, reliability and rigorous independence. We cover Australian wine principally but we extend coverage across the wider world of wine. The hunt for the next beautiful wine knows no boundaries. The WINEFRONT is run by Campbell Mattinson, Gary Walsh and Mike Bennie. A full history of reviews and articles is available to subscribers via the WINE SEARCH tab.
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