Barry Weinman – 5th July 2016
The original vineyards at Castagna were planted by Julian Castagna in 1997 and are now certified Biodynamic. Winemaking is handled by Julian who has a strong desire to let the fruit and the region speak for itself. That said, if there is one similarity to all the wines, it is the textural way the wines express on the palate. There are plenty of winemaker’s influences, yet the elegant fruit is allowed to shine.
The fruit for the Growers Selection range comes from several local vineyards, whilst the Castagna range is all from the estate vineyards. All wines are sealed with a Diam cork, removing the risks associated with natural cork.
Given the praise that the wines of Castagna have received on the East Coast, it has always surprised me that their profile has not been higher in the West. That is set to change after a chance meeting of proprietor Julian Castagna with Rob Palandri from distributor Vranken Pommery, which led to a distribution agreement.
My favourites within the range are listed below, but also watch out for a really interesting Vermouth!
Castagna – Chardonnay – Grower’s Selection – 2014. ($50). Complex worked characters as a result of extended aging in oak and on lees. Very attractive curry leaf minerality, stone fruit and struck match aromas. The palate is creamy and textured, yet with a degree of freshness and verve. The palate is very long, with pineapple acidity to close.
Castagna – White Blend – Harlequin – 2013 ($35). Floral and perfumed, with apricot, nectarine and hints of almond. The palate is textured, somewhat viscous and very delicious, with a slightly chewy finish. A wine with personality that will work well with food.
Castagna – Sangiovese – La Chiave – 2013 ($85). The Sangiovese is thought to be the Brunello clone. Cuttings were sourced from a vine in Mirtleford that was planted in the 1920s by a migrant from Montalcino. Lovely pepper and spice, with a silky mouth-feel. The finish is long, fine and textured, with the red fruits lingering for some time. Supple and delicious!
Castagna – Shiraz – Genesis – 2013 ($85). Vine cuttings came from 1850s plantings sourced from five vineyards in Victoria and McLaren Vale. Cinnamon, plum, licorice and savoury spice notes on the nose. The palate is dense, yet refined, with slightly chewy tannins. Almost feminine, this is remarkably approachable, but will live for years, courtesy of the excellent acid balance. Spent almost two years in oak and includes 2% Viognier.