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Renowned UK wine critic and star of Oz and James wine adventures has reviewed the following wines in his newly released 2012 Best 250 wines book.
No. 5 2010 Primo Estate La Biondina Colombard
"This is one of Australia's Most remarkable white wines. Born in the unheralded dusty plains north of Adelaide from a patch of the decidedly untrendy colombard grapes, it seems to change and get better with every vintage and throws up endless arrays of unlikely flavour variations. This year it somehow mixes the passionfruit's thrillingly sharp yet scented personality with the crispness of a green apple and the crunchiness of cos lettuce. But it's not finished. The texture is as the glistening blade of a rapier, yet there's some savoury warmth like polished leather and a nip of persimmon bitterness. Where did all that come from? It'll be different next vintage.
No. 15 2009 Primo Estate Il Briccone Shiraz Sangiovese
Joe Grilli is one of very few people to match Sangiovese with Shiraz - but it makes absolute sense. In McLaren Vale, the Shiraz can get just a bit too ripe and chunky, but the Sangiovese holds onto its acidity and grippy herb scent as though its life depends on it. The Shiraz dominates, with its lush, ripe blackcurrants, its chocolate and its Jersey cream gooiness, but the Sangiovese throws in a leaner streak of dry, chewy fruit. Savoury scent and menthol bite that makes for a great, original drink
No. 26 2009 Primo Estate Joseph Moda
Remarkable wine, a thrilling hybrid of old Italian habits and modern Australian know-how. Joe Grilli is one of South Australia's most talented winemakers, and he's of Italian descent. Here he uses an old north-east Italian method of drying the grapes before fermenting them. This reduces the volume, increases the sugar and density of flavour, but also adds a brilliant kind of sweet-sour uncertainty, which means every vintage of Moda ages quite differently to the one before - but they do all age, superbly. This is still earthy, with a grape-skin graininess and bitter black chocolate depth, with the fruit showing as dates, dried figs and prunes. For a thonking great mouthful, drink it now; but keep it for 10 years and it will emerge as one of Australia's greatest red wine experiences.
Primo Estate Primo Secco NV
New from one of Australia's winemaking greats - and as usual from Joe Grilli of Primo Estate, it overdelivers. It's only 11.5% alcohol but it bursts with fresh ripe flavours - apple blossom and blackcurrant leaf aromas, ripe apple flesh fruit and the gentle acid reminder of boiled lemons, all transformed into happy juice by a cascade of soft-edged foam.
Primo Estate Joseph Sparkling Red NV (disgorged 2010)
Here it is. The modern history of Australian red wine in a single bottle. There's Shiraz from every vintage since the 1980's, a random selection of early 1960s and 1970s Australian red wines, all piled in with a big barrel of Moda Cabernet-Merlot to make the mother of all base wines. It is then liquered with old Australian fortified wines - so much age, so much history, so many good and bad times, wines fatigued, wines supernaturally bright. This shouldn't fizz, it shouldn't foam; most of these flavours should be slumbering in the cobwebbed gloom of a forgotten cellar, tasting of leather aprons and smoke and the sweaty sparks of the blacksmith's forge. They shouldn't be in a fresh, young bottle and, dammit, they shouldn't foam, it's not respectful. This mixes old Burgundian decay, old toffee-prune Shiraz, the withered cream of old Grenache and Mataro, the distant memory of blackberry and blackcurrant when the wines were young and hopeful. All thrown together in this last-chance cauldron, this writing, foaming medley of old and very old, renewed to laughter and delight by the magic of bubbles.
Click here to order Primo Estate and JOSEPH wines online
Huon Hooke has reviewed the 2010 Primo & Co Venetian Garganega in the Sydney Morning Herald on August 23, 2011
Tastes like a soave, made by Joe Grilli of Primo Estate. A very enjoyable quaffing dry white; light bodied, nicely balanced and adaptable with food.
Straw and spice aromas, fairly simple with fresh acidity and a properly dry finish.
Drink over the next two or three years; 12 percent alcohol.
Click here to order the 2010 Primo & Co Venetian Garganega
The 2008 JOSEPH Moda has made The Australian Wine Journal's Top Dozen for 2010/11.
Up and coming wine blogger Chris Plummer has just released his inaugural Top Dozen wines. Chris selected the 2008 JOSEPH Moda in his best wines of the year alongside names like Cullen, Grosset, Wendouree and Tapanappa.
Chris writes of the 2008 Moda: Like the Wendouree, Joseph's 2008 Moda was hardly born out of a wonderful year for McLaren Vale cabernet, but this time, I feel Joe Grilli's freakish winemaking abilities have helped carve out a magnificent wine every bit as much as the choice of his vineyard site and its management. In fact, McLaren Vale's suffered through a few less than perfect cabernet vintages lately, but Grilli's time proven ability to make deliciously rich, hedonistically smooth, ripe and dusty cabernet merlots using the Italian Amarone method of drying grapes on racks after harvest, has once again produced a stunning take on McLaren Vale cabernet. As with Wendouree's 2008 Cabernet Malbec, I don't actually feel the 2008 Moda is one of Jospeh's very best vintages, but it still serves as a benchmark as to what can be achieved in unbelievably hot, dry seasons.
Click here view the Australian Wine Journal blog
Sadly we sold out of the 2008 JOSEPH Moda earlier this year, however the current 2009 vintage is also looking superb!
Click here to see the new vintage Moda
Huon Hooke recently reviewed the new 2009 JOSEPH Nebbiolo in the Sydney Morning Herald. Huon writes:
From Joe Grilli of Primo Estate, this is one of the more powerful Nebbiolos around. There's a lot of savoury, barrel derived effect (rather than overt oak), with vibrant berries and a dash of mint.
Lashings of gripping tannin surround a rich, fruit-sweet core.
Impressive Stuff! 92/100
Drink now - 2020
Click here to order the 2009 JOSEPH Nebbiolo
Louise Radman featured our new Primo Secco NV in the July issue Adelaide Magazine.
A fresh, fruitful blend of Colombard, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the style of Italian Prosecco. Light bodied and aromatic with bubbly passionfruit personality, lemongrass tang and vivacious sparkle. Makes the perfect aperitivo, spritzer of Bellini cocktail.
Match with goat curd, white anchovy, antipasto.
Click here to order Primo Secco today
Ralph Kyte Powell reviewed the new release 2011 Merlesco Merlot in Epicure Uncorked on August 2nd, 2011. Ralph writes:
The label on this young South Australian merlot advises that it's 'best enjoyed chilled on a hot day', It is true, a no-fuss, summer-weight red wine with earth blueberry and plummy aromas that have a slight bubblegum-like, whole bunch character. The palate is all about soft, suicy, spicy fruit character that finishes dry.
Food ideas: Pasta with lamb and tomato sauce; veal sausages
Click here to order the 2011 Merlesco Merlot
We are delighted to announce the new vintage release of two of our favourite Primo Estate wines, Merlesco Merlot and il Briccone Shiraz Sangiovese.
2011 Merlesco Merlot
One of our more eagerly awaited releases, our 'little Merlot' has been sold out since February. The cooler than average 2011 growing season has produced a delightful Merlesco, brimming with bright red fruit characters laced with subtle spice and perfume. click here to view the 2011 Merlesco tasting note, click here to buy now
2010 il Briccone Shiraz Sangiovese
The thirteenth release of 'the rogue', the 2010 il Briccone is set to steal hearts. The first of our barrel aged reds to be bottled from the 2010 vintage, this wine is proof that the talk surrounding this vintage is not without substance. Lifted spicy aromas, rich dark fruits and delicate length with a fine seam of tightly woven savoury tannins make the 2010 il Briccone a very complete wine. click here to view the 2010 il Briccone tasting note, click here to buy online now
The 2009 JOSEPH Angel Gully Shiraz has been selected as one of 19 'Scarce Earth' wines - single-block wines that represent the best that McLaren Vale has to offer.
Franz Scheurer has reviewed our new Primo Secco on Australian Gourmet Pages. Franz writes:
This is the first white sparkling I've seen from Primo Estate and it's a winner. It has all the hallmarks for quality you've come to expect from Joseph and Dina Grilli. It's made in a Prosecco style but it is considerably drier than any Prosecco I've tried. It has a lovely fruit-forward bouquet and the aromas (later confirmed on the palate) remind me of the floral, perfumed richness of a Trebbiano grape. It's only RRP $20 and at that it's a steal.
To view his April 2011 article head to http://www.australiangourmetpages.com/
Click Here to order Primo Secco now!
Despite approaching her 30th vintage in 2011, La Biondina shows that she is still 'full of life' and can capture the hearts of wine critics Australia wide with this latest mention in The Age, Tuesday March 29, 2011.
Ralph Kyte-Powell writes:
"Colombard usually misses out when it comes to perceptions of wine quality but Joe Grilli of Primo Estate has elevated its status through La Biondina (the blonde). Made from grapes grown close to Adelaide, the 2010 typifies the style -- fresh, grapey, uncomplicated but full of life. Not quite as much passionfruit as previous editions, it's still succulent and zippy. 4 Stars."
Click here to order some 'full of life' La Biondina for yourself!
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