James Halliday

 

Peter Schell and Magali Gely are a husband and wife team from NZ who came to Australia in the early 1990s to study oenology and marketing respectively at Roseworthy College. Together they have spent 4 vintages making wine in France, mainly in the south where Magali’s family were vignerons for generations near Montpellier. The focus at Spinifex is the red varieties which dominate in the south of France: mataro (more correctly mourvedre), grenache, shiraz and cinsaut. The wine is made in open fermenters, basket-pressed, partial wild (indigenous) fermentation, and relatively long post-ferment maceration. This is at once a very old approach, but nowadays á la mode. The wines are made at Spinifex’s winery in Vine Vale, where Peter also makes wines for a number of clients to whom he consults. So far as I am concerned Spinifex out-Torbrecks Torbreck. Exports to the UK, the US, Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands and Singapore.

James Halliday
Australian Wine Companion 2008 Edition


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 2005
The leader of the band, with significantly richer and more overtly powerful fruit than Esprit or Indigene, but without losing any of their elegance and perfect balance. Polished to a lustrous sheen, it is able to convince you to drink it now, when it really needs another 5 years minimum, and decades thereafter. Very high-quality cork. 14.8° alc.
Rating 97
To 2025 $44

Indigene 2005
Beautifully rounded and proportioned plum and black cherry fruit picked at perfect ripeness, with a gossamer web of silken tannins and, as with all the Spinifex wines, precisely integrated and balanced oak. Very high quality cork. Barossa Valley Mataro (55%)/Shiraz (45%). 14.5° alc.
Rating 96
To 2025 $44

Esprit 2005
A fragrant bouquet with multiple oriental spices defying precise description; light- to medium-bodied, with silky mouthfeel, bright red fruits running through to a long finish uncluttered by tannins. Barossa Valley Grenache/Shiraz/Cinsaut/Mataro/Carignan. Screwcap 14.9° alc.
Rating 94
To 2015 $28

Papillon 2006
Either the Southern Rhone’s or Australia’s answer to Beaujolais, take your pick; vivid colour and equally vividly fresh red fruits to be slightly chilled and drunk right now; 800 dozen made. Grenache/Cinsaut/Carignan. Screwcap. 13.9° alc.
Rating 92
To 2008 $25

Lola 2006
Classic Southern Rhone white blend, albeit with more vibrancy and character to the fruit than you would find in the Rhone; lingering, lemony acidity a major plus; 166 dozen made. Marsanne/Semillon/Vermentino/Viognier/Grenache Gris. Screwcap. 13° alc.
Rating 91
To 2010 $25

Barossa Valley Rose 2006
Light, bright pink; comes together very well, with warm oriental spice, red fruits, and a dry finish with just the right acidity; 350 dozen made. Serious rose. Grenache/Cinsaut/Mourvedre/Shiraz. Screwcap. 13° alc.
Rating 90
To 2008 $23

 

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