Quattro Mano Duende 2009 & La Reto Tempranillo 2008: fabulous syntheses of Oz & Iberia

Quattro Mano is a curious name for a collaboration of three men (Philippe Morin, Tony Carapetis and Chris Taylor, pictured) who are playing around with Iberian not Italian varieties (check out tomorrow’s blog for some fine Aussie Lagrein if Italian varieties are your bag).  But never mind – they’re clearly a few good men if the wines are anything to go by! 

True to the Barossa Valley in their immediacy and seductiveness, the wines’ Portuguese/Spanish/French varietal building blocks bring florality, spice and a wonderful juicy freshness.  The raison d’etre of the collaboration is “to pursue our collective passion for less-than mainstream varieties and European wine styles”  with the goal of creating “elegant and distinctive wines reflective of variety and “terroir”.  Job well done!

Quattro Mano Duende 2009 (Barossa Valley) – this unusual blend comprises 37% Touriga Nacional,22% Tinta Amarela, 22% Tinta Cao with 19% Cinsaut.  The  Portuguese varieties hail from a 40 year old vineyard in Stockwell on the north-eastern side of the Barossa Valley, while the Cinsaut comes from 60 year old vines a few kilometres to the north.  Though it’s only 12.7% abv, glycerol on the attack and a sweet core of red cherry fruit are most definitely Barossa.  Could suggest Grenache, but there the comparison ends, for this wine finishes dry and fresh with juicy pomegranate, fruit spice (red and black liquorice) and fine but textured fruit (not wood) tannins.   Rock rose on the nose – a fragrance – adds a distinct whiff of the Douro.   Very good.

Quattro Mano La Reto Tempranillo 2008 (Barossa Valley) – 90% Tempranillo (or Tinta Roriz if stick we with Portugal) with a smattering of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela and Tinta Cao, this is bright purple/ruby with an unusual nose, dark and brooding, with dried herbs and sarsaparilla.  In the mouth it shows dark chocolate edged juicy plum and succulent black cherry with a very subtle hint of eucalypt.  Super supple in the mouth.  Plush, lush stuff.

The wines are not available in the UK, at least not yet, but if you wanted a taste of Touriga from Australia then check out St Hallet Gamekeepers Reserve and Shiraz/Grenache at Bibendum.  They’re not as sophisticated as the Quattro Mano wines but then I suspect they’re aimed at a shallower pocket, especially the former.

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