Otherness '440' Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Marco Cirillo is a ninth Generation grape grower and winemaker, whose forebears hailed from Calabria in Italy’s deep south. In 1959, Marco’s father Vince purchased one of the oldest surviving patches of Grenache Noir in the Barossa, a vineyard planted in 1848. Since 2003, Marco has made what is now one of the most defining of Barossa wines, from a grape variety that for too long remained in the shadow of Shiraz.
440 is a project on which Grant Dickson worked with Grenache maestro Marco Cirillo. This wine highlights the easy drinkability that Cabernet Sauvignon can provide here in the Barossa. Although Grant admits he’s never a fan of pronounced methoxypyrazine characters in Sauvignon Blanc, he believes that the suppression of these characters has resulted in a regional style of Cabernet that sometimes plays in the no-man’s land of aromatics and flavour. He yearns for less ripeness, more varietal definition, more leaf, more drive. Multiple pickings, partial whole-bunch, a cool wild ferment and maturation in four-year-old hogsheads have resulted in a wine that’s supple, perfumed, fresh, lifted and long. Red berry fruits jostle in the glass with mace, mint and fleur de sel.
Why 440? Grant has spent much of my early working life working as a professional musician. He was often that guy who whacked a tuning fork against his knee, held it up to his ear before blowing a long penetrating note on his oboe, to which all members of the orchestra tuned their instruments. That note is A440: 440 hertz, and the oboe purportedly gets to play it because of the piercing, penetrating nature of its timbre.
“a triumph and an example of the ethereal, lighter style of reds”
- Katie Spain