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TimSmithWines

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National Liquor News - Barossa Feature, Mike Bennie

The heritage winery Chateau Tanunda has an interesting winemaker under its hood. Tim Smith, though having worked broadly in bigger companies through the Barossa, has pared back to establish his own brand, Tim Smith Wines.
In 2002, Smith began the fruit sourcing process, with an eye for Mataro fruit from older vines.”Making high quality, small batches is what I want most of all. Mataro is a rising hero now, though my interest swelled in the 1980’s through an idle conversation with my winemaking mate Chris Ringland,” said Smith. “Chris and I decided that Mataro was the perfect grape for the region, and one that picks up a lot of complexity as it gets warmer during harvest – I see all sorts of characteristics and the fruit is all about blueberries, dark berries and kirsch. When you get it ripe it has a very firm but soft tannins and it gives really good mouth feel…it’s actually a really versatile grape.”
Smith currently makes a Mataro Grenache Shiraz, but with poorer Grenache crops the Mataro becomes a focal point. Indeed a 2009 Mataro will be released as a single varietal wine in the coming months. The hook for retailers is a small producer and a diverse offering of a quality wine made with purpose.

Smith says Mataro is exciting for its varied nature. “From sandy soils the wines are aromatic and perfumed, without the kind of blood and guts power one expects,” he said. “Soils with clay bases give a thicker aromatic profile, slightly duller, but have a fuller flavour and more throttle.” It’s an interesting exercise taking in the energy winemakers in the Barossa are seeming to have for this varietal.