Chain of Ponds Novello Nero 2005

A blend of Sangiovese, Barbera and Grenache from South Australia. 

The nose is relatively dumb at first, with sour cherries and raw meat seeming to sit in the glass even when violently encouraged to take flight (my wrist is sore – from swirling). There’s a coarse vegetal edge to the aroma that seems whole bunch-like. A bit of powdery vanilla oak rounds things off. It’s quite sniffable and mercifully free from industrial confectionary. It’s also blunt and rather unrefined.
On entry, a refreshingly rustic mouthfeel that immediately recalls the sort of cheap Chianti that I secretly adore for its rough authenticity. Also like cheap Chianti, there’s never any danger of this scaling the heights of fruit intensity. Rather, this provides “just enough” of a great many things: flavour, length, complexity, interest. But wine is about how the whole hangs together and, in this case, there’s a reasonable impression of coherence. More sour cherry pips, almonds, oak and a moderately unattractive caramel note wash over the tongue, straining to escape the impression of being watered down. Bright acid keeps things fresh and clean, washing away the last stains of flavour and encouraging food.
I wasn’t feeling all that positive about this wine when I sat down to compose this note, and I remain equivocal in some respects. On the other hand, it’s fresh and light in a manner that evades many local red styles, and for that at least should be noted.

Chain of Ponds
Price: $A14.25
Closure: Stelvin

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