2019 Smallfry 'Joven'
Region: Barossa Valley < Australia
Grapes: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monastrell, Bastardo, Tinta Amerilia
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic + biodynamic farming; alluvial soils,
fermented and aged in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with
minimal So2; 12.8% ABV; 240 cases
Winemaker: Suzi Hilder & Wayne Ahrens
Like its name, Smallfry, a partnership between Suzi Hilder and Wayne Ahrens, is a small fish in the big sea of Aussie wine. Exactly the kind of fish we like. Both viticulturists by training, Suzi and Wayne were bitten by the winemaking bug and started Smallfry in 2005, always committed to native yeast ferments, zero to minimal adjustment, old oak, and a soft hand in the cellar allowing the vineyard to speak. Their style is food friendly, European-influenced, and restrained. Wayne and Suzi own and farm this vineyard in Barossa’s Vine Vale subregion, on the valley floor…and the vines are OLD, some dating back to the 1850s!
But they do have some younger vines, showcased here in the Joven. Wayne explains the inspiration for this wine: "I spent a fantastic year living in Spain in my youth and the chance to try my own interpretation of this classic style gives me a thrill. We picked the Tempranillo quite early to capture some sour red cherry/ cranberry characters which in my mind are the perfect foil for some lovely old bush vine Garnacha. Monastrell, Bastardo and Tinta Amerilla fill out the back palate but the main focus of this wine is juicy red fruits and bright flavors."
We love the Smallfry restraint and focus on freshness in all the wines. In the past we've run from Aussie reds, frightened by the BIGness of it all - fruit, weight, alcohol. But Joven is right up our alley: textural, red-fruited and juicy, yet super savory and herbal, and begging for a slight chill. We want this with Paella!
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED