An elite and indulgent shiraz

The 2014 Mitolo is no headbanger, says Matthew Jukes. But it is a frighteningly indulgent wine.

883-mittolo-634

2014 Mitolo, Marsican Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia (£188, Hedonism Wines, 020-7290 7870, Hedonism.co.uk)

In the September of 2016 I received a phone call from Frank Mitolo asking me if we could meet up in Adelaide for a chat. I was about to host my annual Great Australian Red competition with my Aussie wine scribe pal Tyson Stelzer, so we both went to meet Frank and his winemaking guru Ben Glaetzer. There was a "cleanskin" bottle on the table in the Apothecary Wine Bar when we walked in. This was the first ever pre-release tasting of Marsican Mitolo's secret Shiraz project.

The Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) is an endangered species that lives in the Abruzzo National Park and the surrounding regions in Italy. Frank's Italian heritage coupled with the size, scale and attitude of this wine mean that its name makes perfect sense. Made from an elite barrel selection of his greatest shirazes of the vintage, and matured in 100% French oak, this is a mighty wine and it is in some ways related to Frank's Savitar Shiraz, which was until now his top wine of this grape variety. The main difference is in the detail and the sheer level of complexity.

At 14% alcohol it is not a head-banger. It is, however, infinitesimally layered with black fruit, cocoa, liquorice, Partagas Serie D No.4 smoke and black olives, and this makes it a frighteningly indulgent wine. Frank and Ben have set out to make an iconic McLaren Vale Shiraz they have achieved this aim at their first attempt.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).

Recommended

The top festive tipples
Wine

The top festive tipples

MoneyWeek wine columnist Matthew Jukes rounds up the best wines for your Christmas meals.
13 Dec 2019
Wine of the week: a staggering Bacchanalian creation
Wine

Wine of the week: a staggering Bacchanalian creation

With uncommon texture, palate plushness and perfect balance, this wine is a different take on the Bacchus grape, says Matthew Jukes.
7 Aug 2020
Wine of the week: a perfect and thrilling tightrope routine
Wine

Wine of the week: a perfect and thrilling tightrope routine

This is a delicious and well-thought-through wine with delicacy and considerable richness in perfect harmony.
31 Jul 2020
Wine of the week: a genuinely unique new rosé
Wine

Wine of the week: a genuinely unique new rosé

This scintillating new English rosé is like no other I have ever tasted, says Matthew Jukes.
24 Jul 2020

Most Popular

Gold and silver have taken a vicious beating – is the bull market over already?
Gold

Gold and silver have taken a vicious beating – is the bull market over already?

The gold price has tumbled recently, leaving traders nursing losses – just a nasty correction or has the gold bull market run out of steam? Dominic Fr…
12 Aug 2020
No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday
UK Economy

No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday

That the economy took a massive hit due to Covid-19 should be news to no one, says John Stepek. The real question is what happens now.
13 Aug 2020
Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020