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Tasting Notes Cantina Sociale

TEMPRANILLO (Temp-rah-nee-ho)

Adelaide Hills


Tempranillo is a variety of black grape widely used to make full-bodied reds in its native Spain. Its name comes from the Spanish word “temprano” meaning “early”, due to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish varieties.

This is a very versatile grape, with the ability to produce tannic, age-worthy wine; or in this case, a very bright, juicy wine designed to be drunk whilst young. Our 2014 Tempranillo has been grown in the cool conditions of the Adelaide Hills.

This vintage was a challenging one, with small crops and a lot of rainfall, however in this case, the result is a soft, balanced wine which we love. Look for plump red berry fruits, plenty of spice and a luscious sweet fruit finish with very subtle tannins

GRANACHE (Grenn-ash)

Barossa Valley


Grenache originates from the south of France. It’s a later ripening variety than its better known cousin, shiraz. It is a very hardy grape, which needs very little water & nutrients to survive, hence making it ideal for the sandy soils of Kalimna, sub-region of the Barossa.

This wine comes from 100 year old vines in Kalimna. This 2014 Grenache is very rich, deep crimson red with brilliant clarity, poise, almost shimmering in the glass. Aromas of fresh red cherries and fruit spice, aniseed, cured meat and forest floor. Barely medium bodied in extract with sweet, textural red fruit flavours and lingering, sweet mouthwatering tannins.


MONTEPULCIANO (‘Mon-te-pool-chee-ah-noh’)

Langhorne Creek


Arguably our most popular varietal to date, Montepulciano is a red grape originating from central Italy. It is a very full flavoured, fruit forward, dry table wine, with minimal tannins. We are so excited to have a brand new release from our (very close) friends at Alpha Box & Dice.

This 2014 wine is produced from a small patch of vines grown in Langhorne Creek, and made using winemaking techniques recently adopted in Montepulciano’s main growing region. The resulting wine is significantly lighter in both colour & flavour than some of its counterparts (almost ‘cherry-like’) and is intended for drinking whilst young rather than future development or aging.


(‘Cab-burr-nay Soh-vin-yon’)

McLaren Vale


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country, from Canada to Lebanon. It became internationally recognised through its prominence in France. From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the rest of the world, where it found new homes in places like California's Napa Valley, Chile's Maipo Valley & our very own Coonawarra. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in south-western France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation—the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost—and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character of the variety.

Our 2014 Cabernet is a really elegant version of this variety, despite the warm climate of the Willunga Foothills. It displays long, silky tannins, with black fruits & dark chocolate characters. Despite its youth, this wine is exceptionally graceful & delicate.

CHENIN BLANC ('Shenn-an Blonk’)

McLaren Vale


Chenin Blanc is a white variety from North Western France, known for its high acidity. It is a very versatile grape, making everything from sparkling wines to dessert wines. It is grown all over the world, most widely in South Africa. It provides a fairly neutral palate for the expression of terroir (area where the wine is grown), vintage variation and the winemaker’s methods.

Our Chenin Blanc is sourced from our friends at Coriole Vineyards in McLaren Vale. They are extremely familiar with this grape, having first planted it in 1977. This 2015 wine has been fermented using the grape skins, and is therefore ripe and textural, with loads of tropical fruit. It is a full flavoured, voluptuous white with mild acidity.

SHIRAZ ('Shee-razz')

Barossa Valley


Shiraz is Australia’s number one grape variety. Known as ‘Syrah’ in the rest of the world, this is a very adaptable grape, which demonstrates a number of different styles, depending on where it’s grown.

The Barossa Valley is renowned for being one of the world’s premier regions for this variety. This wine comes from 100 year old vines in Kalimna, same as the Grenache, a sub-region of the Barossa. This is a powerful expression of the Shiraz grape, displaying rich, black fruit, grilled meats, some spice and great flavour persistence. This is one of our all-time favourite Cantina barrels, and is a wonderful example of what this state can produce.



Blanc de Blancs – By Jingo! ‘Nastro d’ Argento” Adelaide Hills NV

Riesling - Forbes & Forbes, Eden Valley 2013

Fiano – Parous Wines, Heathcote 2014

Chardonnay - First Drop ‘Mere & Fils’ 2013

Rosé - Spinifex, Barossa Valley 2014

Barbera/Nebbiolo – Maretti, Langhe Italy 2013


Barossa Valley

Fortified wines are wines that have simply had a spirit added to them (usually brandy). Many different types of fortified have been developed, including Port, Sherry, Madiera, Marsala & Vermouth. Created by the English, the original reason for fortifying wines was for preservation during transport.

We have created our own exclusive fortified blend specifically for Cantina. It was selected from various fortifieds on offer at Seppeltsfield Wines in the Barossa Valley, which boasts the longest unbroken lineage of fortified wines in the world, dating back to 1878. This blend contains 75% Tokay (5-10 years old) and 25% Muscat (20+ years old). The resulting wine has a great balance of freshness, aromatics and citrus (from the Tokay) and depth, concentration and raisins from the Muscat.

MOURVEDRE (‘More-ved-ruh’)

McLaren Vale


Mourvèdre (also known as ‘Mataro’ and ‘Monastrell’, depending on where you are) probably originated in Spain, yet is a red wine grape variety that’s grown all over the world, including France, Italy, Spain, Australia and the United States.

It is regularly used to soften Grenache and Syrah (Shiraz) to make the popular ‘GSM’ blend. It can also be used to produce rosé and fortified wines. Mourvèdre can be difficult to grow, and likes warm to hot climates, yet lots of irrigation. It tends to produce quite dark, tannic wines, which can be high in alcohol and is known for its gamey, earthy characteristics and berry flavours.

Our 2013 Mourvèdre comes from Coriole vineyards and shows red fruits and violets, with undertones of tobacco and leather, white pepper and spice. Despite its ripeness, it is not a heavy wine – it shows a full flavoured palate with medium tannins.

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