South Australia (should we call it South-Central Australia?) is home to some of the countries finest wines. And to a lots of junk. This is our first review from the McLaren Vale region, about an hour south of Adelaide. The Mitolo winery started in 1999. Their web site shows few wines. I’m not sure that’s a bad sign. They also do olive oil. Sangiovese is a major Italian red grape. Our companion wine is an Italian Merlot rose at about half the price.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Wine Reviewed Mitolo Jester Giacomo Sangiovese Rose 2011 12.5 % alcohol about $18.
Let’s start with the marketing materials “Description : This Jester is not just kidding around, try with charcuterie, or grilled salmon skewers with rice and peas. Tasting Note : Sangiovese is an up-and-coming variety in Oz, so it’s exciting to see it featured in a rose. Smoky berry, cherry, blood orange, and vanilla aromas. Dry to slightly off-dry with a hint of spritz. The fruit flavors slowly build and build to a fine finish. Simultaneously bold and refined with gentle acidity on the finish. (VINTAGES panel, March 2012)” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was long and slightly sweet, tasting metallic with raspberries. The first meal centered on slow-cooked round steak. In response this drink was round with good acidity. The accompanying potatoes imparted raspberries, refreshing acidity, and a light burnt taste to this libation. When paired with green beans bathing in a sauce of crushed tomatoes, our Italian friend was rich and long. Chinese chili sauce on the meat muted the rose at first but it did bounce back. Fresh strawberries brought out a bit of burnt taste in my glass but the wine offered no fruit.
My next meal’s focus was sauteed chicken breast nuggets, spiced with coriander, black pepper, caraway seeds, and crushed chili peppers. Now this Australian tasted metallic. It was very round and mouth filling. It tingled and had excellent mouth-cleansing acidity. Quinoa with green peas rendered this beverage round, powerful, and very refreshing with lots of citrus. In response to steamed broccoli the liquid was very round and citrusy. Fresh pineapple reduced this wine. I tasted some burnt and it’s length was fine. In response to Swiss Dark Chocolate with Orange Flavor and Almonds the libation was mouth filling dark with light acidity.
My final meal started with sweet and not savory Japanese rice crackers containing peanuts that rounded the wine, which tasted slightly burnt. Then came a boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. Now the liquid was refreshing and metallic tasting of pink grapefruit. Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream weakened my drink but it was still very present and even multilayered.
Final verdict. I would be very happy to buy this wine again. I may or may not try Mitolo’s high-priced wines.
Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .