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‘Valentino’ is dedicated to Matthew’s late father Valentino or “Wally”, to many of his Australian friends, who migrated to Australia in 1952 from Abruzzo, Italy. It was through many years of garage winemaking with Valentino and his ‘paisani’ (compatriots) that Matthew developed his passion for winemaking. It was Valentino’s passion for life and family that continues to inspire Matthew and Andrew in making these wines.

The fruit for the 2016 Valentino Sangiovese was sourced from the Greenstone vineyard on the eastern side of the Mt Camel ranges. The rich Cambrian soils along with the slope of the vineyard that rises over 100m from the road they are both contributors to the intensity and richness of flavours in the fruit and resulting wine. The 2016 growing season began with steady soaking winter rainfalls provided a good winter season and an excellent start to the growing season. Spring weather was variable during flowering which meant a small Sangiovese fruit set. A warm December, followed by a very dry and hot January and February saw water storages fall significantly whilst maintaining vine health leading up to the critical veraison period. The vines had maintained a very good canopy that functioned well with a small crop of fruit, allowing the vines to achieve fruit with full phenological ripeness. The grapes for the 2016 Valentino Sangiovese was harvested on 3rd March 2016 at 13.8 baume.

The winemaking philosophy is one that aims to allow the fruit to have full expression with winemaking and oak inputs playing a supporting role. The grapes were gently de-stemmed to retain whole berries for fermentation. The grapes were allowed to cold soak for 4 days prior to being allowed to warm up gently and commence fermentation. The grapes were fermented on skins for 20 days with hand plunging twice daily. After being pressed off skins it was racked to commence MLF into a combination of French oak barriques and vats, of which 5% were new. The wine was matured for 20 months prior to bottling.

This wine displays the depth, poise and balance for which this vineyard and variety is building a strong reputation. The wine has an intense bouquet of wild back cherry and mulberries, with anise spice which leads onto a palate that has blood plum, sour cherry and bitter chocolate at its core. The palate flows from the core of fruit, and continues to drive along the palate with excellent length, while supported by fine dusty and savoury tannins. Drinking now or cellar well for 15+ years.

Alcohol – 14.6%v/v, pH – 3.49, TA—5.77 g/L

Andrew Santarossa and Matthew Di Sciascio