Our Spanish and Portuguese grape varieties
The Mazza vineyard has ten acres of carefully managed vines that receive a lot of attention. Everything is done by hand - pruning, shoot thinning, fruit thinning, leaf plucking and fruit picking. The vines receive minimal irrigation through summer when necessary. We live in our vineyard and swim in our dam and manage our vines so that sprays are used very sparingly.
We have six Iberian red grape varieties - Bastardo, Graciano, Tempranillo, Tinta Cão, Touriga Nacional, and Sousão. From these we produce five straight varietal wines, a Tempranillo Graciano blend, the Cinque blend of five varieties and our Fortified Bastardo.
Bastardo is a Portuguese variety traditionally used in Port blends and we use it to make two very different wines - a crisp, dry rosé and a delicious sweet Fortified wine.
Our Bastardo rosé is pale salmon-pink in colour with strawberry aromas and enticing herbal notes. We make the only commercially available Bastardo rosé in Australia.
Our Bastardo Fortified has been bottled the same year as harvest - we decided to bottle it young to capture the brightness of the fruit. The fortifying spirit has been distilled from our own grapes and integrates beautifully into the wine which is made from 100% Bastardo which is picked six weeks after the fruit for our rosé. Bastardo grapes become incredibly sweet when left on vine which makes them perfect for port-styled wine.
Cinque (this is where the Sousão comes in)
The Cinque was named by Dave's dad, John, who is pictured above. The Cinque is a wonderful blend made from five different varieties – Graciano, Tempranillo, Tinta Cão, Touriga Nacional and Sousão. There’s a lot going on with the Cinque as each of these varieties – which make excellent single varietal wines – come together beautifully. It’s hard to describe in a few words but it's like that magical thing that happens when a group of old friends get together and bring out the best in each other – except in a bottle.
Sousão is a low yeilding, moderately vigourous vine from Portugal that produces small, tight bunches of dark fruit. The juice is deep purple, almost inky, in colour and high in acid. We used the 2007 Sousão in an interesting blend with Tempranillo and Bastardo. That blend evolved to become our Cinque and now all our Sousão is used in the Cinque blend.
Graciano is traditionally blended with Tempranillo to create Spain's most famous red wine, Rioja, but we think it is special enough to stand on its own. Our Graciano has a rich aroma of spice, ripe plums and tobacco with a generous palate of dark cherry flavours and fine savoury tannins. Our first Graciano was produced in 2007.
Tempranillo is a famous Spanish grape variety that is becoming popular in Australia. We have discovered it grows particularly well in the Geographe region. This vibrant medium-bodied wine has an aroma of dark cherries and gentle spices. The palate is loaded with rich, plummy fruit, smooth tannins, and pleasing complexity. We have produced a single varietal Tempranillo every year since 2004.
Tinta Cão is a rare Portuguese grape variety that makes a delicious medium bodied wine with lovely floral aromatics. Our Tinta Cão has a distinctive raspberry aroma with balanced tannins and a spicy finish. Our first Tinta Cão was produced from the 2007 vintage. We also use Tinta Cão in our Cinque blend of five varieties. This one is Dave's Dads' favourite. Perfect with red sauce or spicy salami and tastes amazing with char-grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.
Touriga Nacional is a Portuguese variety that makes wonderfully aromatic wines. A bouquet of gently spiced black fruit leads into a particularly well-structured palate of dark berries finishing with fine, savoury tannins. We were so delighted with the results of our small vintage of Touriga in 2007 that we planted another four and half acres of it in 2008.