Pizzini’s Honour – Sangiovese of the King Valley

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The Pizzini family story is like that of many Italian families in Australia. They arrived in the 1950s looking for work after World War 2, and settled in the King Valley, north east Victoria. They started growing crops, specifically tobacco. When quotas on tobacco were introduced, the forward thinking Alfredo, son of one of the original migrants, decided to plant grapes instead. The Pizzinis are now well recognised for their Italian varieties, especially their range of Sangiovese and are a major drawcard for the King Valley with their cooking school and picturesque grounds.

Pizzini Wines, Sangiovese/Shiraz, 2013

Sangiovese Shiraz

Occasionally in Tuscany, home of Chianti, Shiraz or other red grapes will be blended with Sangiovese. As they don’t necessarily adhere to the DOCG rules to be labelled Chianti Classico (and proudly display the black cock or Gallo Nero) they tend to be saddled with the moniker of a “Super Tuscan.” Those wines can be quite brutish, but here the 2 grapes work in harmony. Swell smells of red currants from Shiraz and cherries of the Sangiovese. The red fruits work alongside earthy, white mushroom skins. Tart and lively, this jumps about with bright fruits, balanced by a whisker of acid and a touch of tannin.

RRP: $19

Alc: 13.5%

Pizzini Wines, “Nonna Gisella,” Sangiovese, 2013

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Matured in old, large format oak and stainless steel to promote and maintain the fruit. Lovely dark cherry smells mixed with deep raspberry. A whiff of licorice for herby goodness. Medium bodied, a little fruit forward but with enough tannin to give structure. More black cherry and red licorice finishes with darker pouch-tobacco savoury notes. It’s what you want from Sangiovese when you’ve got heaps of friends, seated around a noisy table laden with bowls of steaming pasta and laughter.

RRP: $21.50

Alc: 13.8%

Pizzini wines, “Pietra Rossa,” Sangiovese 2013

Pizzini Pietra Rossa 2013

Translates to ‘Red Stone’ and named after the rich ironstone soils where the grapes are grown. This smells of just-ripe cherries, a lick of cola, earthy bluestone rocks and aniseed/fennel. Flavour full of characteristic sour cherry, cola and herby aniseed flavour that gives a savoury, almost rustic edge. With plenty of drying tannins, this is a wine made to celebrate food.

RRP: $28

Alc: 13.8%

Pizzini Wines “Forza di Ferro,” Sangiovese, 2013

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To be released January 2016 and available from the Cellar door only. Translates as “Strength from Iron.” Hand picked parcels from Pizzini’s top vineyards. Cold soaked for 5 days for extraction from the skins. 18 months in barrel then blended. 12 months in bottle. Deeply and sexily perfumed: full cherry to Maraschino, fennel seeds, grass, cigarillo, plum skin and ever so slightly cooling mint. Praise be the tannin. Fine, drying and plentiful. Acid is certainly there too. Made for carving through cinghiale salumi. Shadows of cherry fruit with a soft cola nut edge sits neatly in the middle of the structure. Complex, yet subtle. Reminiscent of the way a young, quality Burgundy starts out. Quality. Vino rosso e notevole. Molto Buono.

RRP: $60

Alc: 13.8%

Pizzini Wines, “Rubacuori,” Sangiovese 2008

Pizzini Rubacuori 2008

Literally means “Stealer of Hearts,” and easy to see why. Only the best estate fruit was selected, aged 18 months in barrel and 2 years in bottle before release. Sealed nder cork. Complex nose: sweet/savoury balsamic along with dried cherries, stewing plump prunes and a mature briny seaweed. The palate brings lengths of dark cherry fruit and cola syrup capped edged with a bouquet of savoury herbs. Exceptional example of mature Australian Sangiovese.

RRP: $110

Alc: 13.4%

All wines samples courtesy of Pizzini Wines .

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