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 four 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) fermentations, and relatively long post-ferment maceration. This is at once a very old approach, but nowadays? 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, Taiwan and Singapore.

James Halliday
Australian Wine Companion 2011 Edition

Wine Glass

2008 Bete Noir
Bright purple-crimson; a particularly expressive and fragrant bouquet with spicy black fruits, the medium- to full-bodied palate with licorice and more warm spice notes; we are not told why shiraz should be Pete Schell's enemy.
14.5° alc.
Rating 94 To 2023

2008 Indigene
Much deeper colour than Esprit; a profound wine in every way, obviously made from older, lower-yielding vines; here black fruits and licorice take centre state, with a velvety texture and very long finish. Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache. Screwcap.
14.5° alc.
Rating 96 To 2028

2008 Taureau
Good bright colour; a fragrant bouquet with the Spinifex stamp all over it, the texture silky and fine, the fruit flavours in a seamless whole ranging from light red to dark black, tannins playing a wholly positive role. Tempranillo/Graciano/Carignan/Cabernet Sauvignon. Screwcap.
14.5° alc.
Rating 94 To 2015

2008 La Maline
Good purple-red, although not particularly vibrant; a very rich and complex wine, texture and structure excellent; the bouquet is aromatic and the full-bodied palate has abundant fruit, but this blend (Shiraz/Viognier) best delivers vibrancy in cool climates.
14.5° alc.
Rating 94 To 2023

2009 Papillon
A blend of Grenache/Cinsaut/Mataro that has a light, but very bright, magenta hue; entirely driven by its lively array of red fruits, tannins and oak missing in action. For immediately enjoyment whenever, where ever.
13.8° alc.
Rating 90 To 2013

2008 Esprit
Typical relatively light colour; a lifted, spicy aromatic bouquet of predominantly red fruits, the savoury, textured medium-bodied palate a logical follow-on with spicy fruitcake flavours backed by fine tannins.
14.5° alc.
Rating 93 To 2018


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