James Halliday


Wow what an impressive newcomer this is, owned by New Zealand-born Peter Schell and French-born wife Magali Gely. After graduation from Roseworthy they worked for four vintages in the south of France, and when they established Spinifex, it was only natural to focus on Mourvedre, Grenache, Shiraz and Cinsaut. Great wine and immaculate packaging is a heady mixture.

James Halliday
Australian Wine Companion 2007 Edition

Ten of the best new wineries

The focus at Spinifex is the red varieties which dominate in the south of France: mataro (more correctly mourvedre), grenache, shiraz and cinsault. The wine is made in open top fermenters, basket pressed, partial wild (indigenous) fermentations, and relatively long post-ferment maceration. This is at once a very old approach, but nowadays à la mode. The wines are made at Spinifex’s winery in Vine Vale, where Peter also makes wines for a number of clients to which he consults.

Eden Valley Shiraz Viognier 2004
Superb colour; gloriously high-toned aromas and flavours; supple texture to the black cherry, blackberry, licorice and spice fruit; good length; 5% viognier. Cork. 14.5˚ alc.
DRINK 2024 $44

Esprit 2004
Medium- to full-bodied; velvety richness, but no hint of dead fruit; a seamless array of blackberry/blackcurrant/licorice/spice flavours; excellent structure. Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro/Cinsaut. Cork. 14.8˚ alc.
DRINK 2020 $28

Indigene 2004
Deep purple-red; unashamedly full-bodied, but the fruit is more than sufficient to fill the frame; luscious black fruits with seamless, built-in tannins from the mataro. Mataro (64%)/Shiraz. Cork. 14.5˚ alc.
DRINK 2020 $44

Barossa Valley Grenache 2004
Very good in colour; a rare Barossa grenache which has great depth and structure, and no confection or dead fruit; you cannot entirely get away from the alcohol, but is carried by the built-in spicy black fruits. Special late harvest. Cork. 15.5˚ alc.
DRINK 2020 $32

Papillon 2005
Bright purple-red; vivid red fruit flavours in a strawberry/red/cherry/raspberry spectrum; the ultimate summer lunch red. Grenache (75%)/Cinsaut. Screwcap. 14˚ alc.
DRINK 2020 $25

Lola 2005
Extremely tight, focused and minerally; way out of the Barossa mainstream white style; long, lingering, bone-dry finish. Marsanne/Ugni Blanc/Grenache Gris. Screwcap. 12.5˚ alc.
DRINK 2010 $25

Barossa Valley Rosé 2005
Vivid fuchsia; bright, small red fruits and spice; a long, bone-dry finish; wild yeast, sur lies. Grenache/Cinsaut. Screwcap. 14˚ alc.
DRINK Now $23


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