Wednesday, May 25, 2011


- McLaren Vale, SA
- $50
- Cork
- 13.5%alc

With plantings dating back to 1985, Coriole has been a pioneer of Australian sangiovese. As the vines have matured, recent Coriole Sangioveses have seemingly gone from strength to strength, to the point where, Coriole has now released a reserve level wine destined to join the ranks of Australia's new varietal benchmarks (which Coriole Sangiovese kinda was anyway).

From a hot, dry vintage, Coriole has fashioned a sangiovese that's lifted out of the glass by a fresh, minty fragrance, but underneath it's very rustic and savoury, with robust smatterings of scorched earth, leather and cherries co-existing with chocolate/cedar oak, to deliver a splendid nose loaded with character and complexity. Medium-bodied and silky to commence, the palate reveals a brightness of varietally correct savoury cherry flavour that's hard to resist, particularly with a lick of chocolate providing a delicious undercarriage, but the palate's most defining feature would have to be its seriously imposing structure, the likes of which I've never seen from Coriole. Even at 4 years old it's powerfully firm, drying and expansive, with coarse, chalky tannins and sour-edged acidity chiselling out a long lasting, mouth puckering and slightly astringent finish. Its grip definitely reflects the vintage, although its deliciously ripened fruit might not. Perfect really.

ü+ Powerful, firm, rustic and bright, and certainly handling its difficult season with aplomb, the 2007 Vita Reserve is a much more serious, possibly more masculine proposition than the standard Coriole Sangiovese. It's obviously urging for a stint in the cellar, from which it should emerge a most spectacular expression of an Australian Italianette. Alternatively, just present it around a lunchtime feast. Drink 2015-2020.
94 points


  1. Love the sound of this, and its great to see the emergence of Austrlian sangiovese in the past few years that is truly serious and ageworthy

  2. Yeah definitely Red. I must admit before this bottle I was under the impression that nebbiolo was the new variety most likely to produce dead set serious, age-worthy South Australian reds, but now I might be a little in two minds.... ;)

  3. I love this wine. my top aussie sangio

  4. Josh,

    I must admit I first tried this wine at the Coriole cellar door over Easter, when I recall it tasting even better than what I had in this note. I remember it being much mintier (fresher?) and even more textured (my TN that day says 95pts), but what I discovered with the full bottle I drunk at home which I didn't find at the CD, was a serious, serious age-worthiness and structure. Hence I am heading back to Coriole this Thursday to get another for keepsakes. :)

    Chris P

  5. Sounds damn good. I had an excellent Sangiovese from McLaren Vale recently, by a mob named Chalk Hill. Best Aussie Sangiovese I've had yet, but I might have to check this one out.

  6. Must admit I haven't had Chalk Hill's Sangiovese Dasein, but thanks for the recommendation; I'll try to locate one soon. The 2007 Vita really is brilliant, especially if you have the patience to sit it aside for another 4-6 years.