Mitchell Harris Sangiovese 2010

Sangiovese is an interesting varietal in the Australian context. Early attempts tended towards Shirazification in style; whether this is a good or a bad thing probably depends on whether you feel adherence to Old World stylistic models represents the path to quality. As I back away from that particular can of worms, I will note that I have enjoyed the robust tannin structure and bright fruit character of many a Chianti, and wouldn’t say no to a few Australian Sangioveses that had these elements alongside whatever our local conditions might add.

Happily, this wine fits broadly within these ideas of style. The nose shows very bright red fruit, somewhat confected perhaps, but clean and varietal. There are some lightly reductive notes around the edges that, in my view, contribute positive complexity to the aroma profile, which would be otherwise a little simple. Oak, old-smelling and nougat-like in character, flits around the edges without ever intruding on a core of cherry fruit notes.

The palate is where this wine comes alive, quickly showcasing a tannin-driven structure that is pleasingly firm. Fruit first, though, which lands fast on entry and moves quickly through to the middle palate, all brightness and crunch. Structurally, this is where acid has a primary role, and it’s certainly bright, though not so much as to compete with tannin later in the line. Again, the fruit is a bit confected, creating a sense of simplicity of flavour. Body is light to medium, movement brisk, all befitting a wine that should be drunk with food rather than on its own.

I can imagine this going down a treat at lunchtime on the weekend, it’s that sort of casual, “throw it back” style. If some work were done to the fruit character of this wine to tame its brighter, simpler side, this would be even better.

Mitchell Harris
Price: $A24.95
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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