“La Chiave” Sangiovese, Julian Castagna, Beechworth – Biodynamic 2014
Julian Castagna, Beechworth, North-east of Victoria.
Julian Castagna, with a little help from his friends, made his first vintage of wine in 1998, having purchased a few acres of vines, and bought a little bit of fruit. Today, with his son Adam, Julien produces just a handful of biodynamic wines from his tiny winery, with each vintage getting more precise and more finely tuned. Situated at an altitude of 500 metres five-and-a-half kilometres outside the beautiful town of Beechworth in Northeast Victoria, which has been farmed according to Rudolph Steiner's biodynamic principles from the word go so as to achieve optimum fruit quality and health. Everything is done by hand: hand harvesting leads to gentle crushing of whole clusters and some de-stemmed grapes. Natural fermentation is allowed to take its own course, and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration, and without masking the character with new oak. The wines are a clear reflection of the land and defy the stereotype of Australian wines.
Julian Castagna was 2014’s Australian Winemaker of the Year.
A complex nose of sour cherry and freshly turned earth with a touch of violets and raspberry; slightly spicy with just a hint of vanilla. A Sangiovese which is both complex, compelling and elegant; it tastes of the earth – vinosity without sweetness. The palate is of sour cherries, rich and mouth-filling with supple very fine tannins; delicious ripe cherry fruit spiced with dried herbs and well-seasoned French oak. Textually creamy and enticing.
Grape: 100% Shiraz