Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tscharke 'The Master' Montepulciano

Montepulciano is a confusing word. It refers on the one hand to the Montepulciano sub-region of Tuscany, on the other to a red grape variety, mainly grown south of Tuscany. In the Barossa Valley, a number of winemakers have become concerned about the impact of climate change and rising temperatures, on the quality of Shiraz and Grenache. Some have started to look for varieties which supposedly can stand the heat better. Tempranillo and Montepulciano are two front runners.

Damien Tscharke pursues a two-pronged strategy with the release of traditional Rhône varieties on the one hand, and alternative varieties on the other. I am drinking the 2009 Tscharke 'The Master' Montepulciano. The fruit is nice, but a bit one-dimensional. The wine is quite lean on the finish, and a bit alcoholic (15%).

I am not sure this is the answer to higher temperatures in the Barossa, although one would have to be patient and think in long time frames. Another approach, though, surely, is to pick Shiraz earlier. This variety can ripen in shorter time.

Score: 89/0 

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