Winemaker: Craig Stansborough
A delicious blend of Aglianico (61%) & Montepulciano (39%) from the Barossa Valley.
Launching the 2021 Harmonica was a watershed moment for Otherness. Having worked in the food and wine matching game for so many years, my first exposure to this homegrown wine provided a geeky pleasure that had hitherto only been available to me through often exorbitantly expensive Italian varietals and blends, procured through agents who had sourced wines from the varietal’s ancestral homes in southern and eastern Italy.
I have always enjoyed chatting with Craig Stansborough. Craig’s passion for Italian varietals has been obvious for years. Several wines expertly crafted from his own Williamstown vineyard and released under his Purple Hands label had been early indicators for me of the potential for expressive, savoury, Italianesque wines from our region.
The advantages of playing with Aglianico and Montepulciano in the Barossa are many and listing them will take up more room than I have here. Suffice to say that acid retention, flavour development at lower sugar levels and a native, mouth-watering tannin profile make Aglianico a natural choice for a savoury, food-friendly wine. The Montepulciano component fleshes it out, softens and regulates the structure. I often think that Monte puts a smile on Aglianico’s craggy visage. Makes it purr. Of course, it’s yin and yang. Perhaps the potential of this blend in a globally warmer world will eventually rival SA’s ubiquitous Cabernet Shiraz?
The 2022 Harmonica is what we might expect from an outstanding vintage. Expect outstanding flow from the front to the back of the palate. Expect savoury flavours that need none of those dollops of fruit sweetness that define so many Barossa Wines. Line it up with some lamb or beef. It works so well. And know that in five to ten years everything that this wine shows now will be amplified. It’s an absolute beauty for your cellar!