Massena Howling Dog Saperavi took a while to get right. When we were first experimenting with Petite Sirah the tannins were so pronounced that tasters actually started howling as it crossed their palate. We later planted other naturally tannic varietals Tannat and Saperavi. We softened the tannins so the only howl we hear now is one of enjoyment. Taken from Dadd’s Block on the high side – sandy loam with long sunlight hours and low rainfall. The best of these varieties is selected each year, either on their own or as a blend.
Grape Variety: Saperavi
Sub region: South Moppa
Winemaking: De-stemmed into open fermenters. Left to spontaneously ferment, then pumped over sporadically for 10 days. Some parcels see extended post fermentation maceration for 5 weeks. Extended skin contact integrates the tannins and produces a wine that is a lot softer and more approachable when young. Gentle basket pressing follows, with each vineyard parcel kept separate. Placed in 2nd and 3rd use French oak hogsheads until just prior to blending and bottling.
The Wine: Black as night and laden with an abundance of natural structure and personality, the palate surprises with immense flavour but with all elements in balance. Aromas of beetroot, tilled earth and juniper, the palate has an inky, iodine like deepness with elements of roasted coriander and cumin and a structure that is evident, but intriguingly supple. Built more along the lines of a marathon runner than a sprinter, it is already approachable but will greatly reward those who choose to keep a few bottles well into the future.
Cellaring: Ten years or more.
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