Tony De Lisio has had a lifetime of experience in the wine industry from growing up in the family vineyard in Clarendon to making some wine in 1992. When the family vineyard was sold Tony was involved in starting a 100 acres of vineyard to the north of McLaren Vale. From these vines the best fruit went into the Classic McLaren range – the winery off Seaview road and is now the home to Mollydooker. De Lisio wines came from an American importer wanting Tony to produce wines to go directly to the USA. From this start Tony & his wife Krystina now produce about 7,000 cases per year sold mainly into USA, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong and sometimes into England.
It was wonderful talking to Krystina about De Lisio Wines and wine in general and I would recommend checking out their range. I had not heard of this brand before but it will not be the last time for me to check out this range.
2009 Del Lisio “Argento” Pinot Grigio ($A18) (A$12.50 up to Xmas 2010)
What a surprise – a Pinot Grigio that I like! The aromas were green apple with some citrus but there was almost a minerality here of slatey or steely. I am not sure one can smell slate or steel but that was the best association I could come up with. The flavors have the pear and green apple that you would expect and then that minerallity of steel was on the finish. Not as much acid on the finish as I was expecting from the minerallity notes and this did not detract from the wine. The overall effect provided a textural mouthfeel that I was not expecting from such a wine. When you consider the special price leading up to Xmas, whay not have a few of these ready for the hot days that are coming. I can see warm nights and cold seafood in this wines future.
2006 De Lisio Grenache ($A35) ($A28 up to Xmas 2010)
With some bottle age and seeing notes that the average vineyard yield was 1.5 t per acre, I was excited to try my favorite variety from a good vintage. There was all the usual juicy red fruits with some savory oak and a hint of roasted nuts (which I thought was very interesting). The only slight detractor for this wine was a slight bitterness on the back of the palate, which I suspect comes from the 16% alcohol in the wine. I suspect a home made steak sandwich with lots of red onion relish would go down a treat.
2006 Quarterback Red Blend ($A20) ($A12.50 up to Xmas 2010)
This wine originated from comments from their USA distributors wanting a mid price wine to sell. While in the Sates watching an American Football game and started to think the name Quarterback would be a good pitch into the USA market. Low and behold the name was not registered – so they say the rest is history. Last year’s American Superbowl had this wine being drunk at the stadium – good effort, and smart as well.
The wine is a blend of Shiraz (26%), Grenache (17%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) and Merlot (27%) plus it is not shy at 15.5% alcohol. The wine is all about up front almost sweet fruit with little oak coming through the red fruits (from the Grenache) and black fruits (from the rest of the varieties). There is a mid weight on the finish but it lasts quite a long time. At the price (particularly at the special price) the wine is good value. The other thing in the wine’s favor is that it can be drunk with almost any food.
2006 Overloaded Shiraz ($A12.50)
This wine has just been bottled (about 2 weeks ago) and has about 5% Grenache in an attempt to produce a drink now style at the lower price scale. While a little disjointed this wine is all about ripe fruits with a soft drink now style. The Grenache has some effect but the overall wine is just an uncomplicated everyday drink that I can see with a good pizza on Friday nights at work.
2005 Del Lisio Catalyst Shiraz Grenache ($A30) ($A24 up to Xmas 2010)
Yet again a wine with Grenache was my favorite. Interestingly there is a blueberry component here to mix with the black and red fruits. I believe the blue based fruits are from a specific Shiraz clone and from a Clarendon vineyard. Fruit based spices here as well but what I really like is the minimal oak used in this wine. Bring on a bowl of Beef Red Thai Curry.
2006 Del Lisio Krystina Shiraz ($A40) ($A32 up to Xmas 2010)
This is and should be a classy wine. A tough call when you make a wine with your wife’s name on the label! The aromas went straight to blackberry, vanilla and mocha – straight away making one thinking of McLaren Vale Shiraz with American oak. The wine starts with fruit sweetness of plum, blackberry and a hint of blueberry. Tho oak is there but plays a minor part in this concentrated offering to the welcoming glass.
2006 Del Lisio Shiraz ($A65) ($A52 up to Xmas 2010)
One big steak and a bottle of this and I would be happy. There is a lot to this wine. The aromas have plum, blackberry and some blue fruits with violets and chocolate. The layers do not stop there – all the same fruits are there in the flavor profile plus spices and mocha. The finish is all about chocolate. So where are my steak knives?