Zonte’s Footstep Langhorne Creek Verdelho 2007, Pinot Grigio 2007 and Viognier 2007 $15–$18
A group of old schoolmates established a 210-hectare vineyard at Langhorne Creek in the late nineties and launched the Zonte’s Footstep brand about seven years later. The group sells a good deal of the grapes but winemaker Ben Riggs selects parcels for the Zonte wines. The verdelho’s my pick of the whites as it’s clean, fresh and bone dry. It’s lighter than chardonnay, heavier than riesling and not as in-your-face as sauvignon blanc. The pinot grigio is more powerful and savoury and beginning to fatten up with age – so drink up. And the viognier shows fresh, distinctive apricot-like varietal flavour
Zonte’s Footstep Langhorne Creek Dry Rosé 2007 and Cabernet Malbec 2006 $15–$18
If we’re going to drink rosé it should, at least, be dry and made from purpose-grown grapes – as Zonte’s is. In this version, Ben Riggs used cabernet and petit verdot in a blend that delivers rich fruit flavour with a pleasant dry, savoury edge. It’s pleasant as rosés go, but overshadowed by the cabernet malbec blend – a solid, deeply-coloured red combining two varieties that seem to do particularly well in Langhorne Creek. The region’s cabernet tends to have clear varietal flavour with an atypically fleshy mid palate. This seems to work well with the deeply coloured, opulent malbec – and a truly dry, tannic finish mark it as a real red.
Zonte’s Footstep Langhorne Creek Shiraz Viognier 2007 and Sangiovese Barbera 2007 $15–$18
What a big, soft, juicy, beautiful mouthful of fruit the shiraz viognier blend offers. It’s an enjoyable, drink-now expression of a combination that all too often doesn’t work, as even a few drops too much of the white viognier can spoil the blend. Even though it’s fleshy and soft, there’s plenty of tannin there to give grip and finish. Sangiovese and barbera are indigenous Italian varieties, the former tending to be light coloured (partly because it tends to overcrop) and tannic and the latter purple-hued and acidic. It’s no doubt taken a bit of work in the vineyard to achieve the colour and flavour depth of this blend. It’s very fruity, fresh and bright with a structure of fine tannin and brisk acidity.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009