One of the more interesting sangioveses in Australia at the moment belongs to French winemaker Jacques Lurton, a man who accompanied his love to Kangaroo Island (on honeymoon), then fell in love with Kangaroo Island. Jacques' innovative work with Kangaroo Island reds in particular, is generating much deserved interest in South Australia's remote and relatively unknown, cool-climate island region.
With funky, gamey aromas of tobacco leaf and herb, the 2008 Islander Sangiovese releases a pleasingly varietal perfume loaded with a strong and straight dark cherry fruit component and a lick of vanilla. The palate sits proudly in the light/medium-medium bodied weight range, with balance and directness being its keys. At first, it appears rather straight forward, but deeper inspection reveals a wine that twists and turns with ample character and control. Its bright cherry, almost kirsch-like flavour is distributed throughout the mouth by wonderfully vivid acids and tightening tannins, finishing with lingering sour-edged aspects enhanced by hints of cured meat and herb, as well as a lively tickle that goes on and on.
ü+ If it's a lighter bodied, long, refreshingly structured and food friendly red you seek; on the cheap, then you need look no further than the 2008 Islander Sangiovese. With experienced, enthusiastic men like Jacques Lurton around, you'd be hopping mad to ignore the promise offered by Kangaroo Island's wines. Drink to 2015.