The McLaren Vale region is strongly maritime influenced, with considerable variation in climate between the hill slopes and the sea. The hills produce favorable seasonal rains while the coast brings ripening sunshine softened by cooling breezes.
Tintara fruit is 100% McLaren Vale and includes only the absolute best lots from both estate-owned and contracted vineyards. The vineyards age to 70 years and these provide the dense character and powerful dark fruit aromas found in Tintara.
The fruit for this wine was destemmed and crushed into 4 and 7-ton open-top fermenters. The wine was tasted 3 times daily and the fermentation temperature and extraction regime adjusted at each tasting to maximize flavor extraction, keeping tannin in balance with the fruit intensity. When the tannin and fruit balance were extracted to the desired level, the wines were basket pressed to tank. After settling for 24 hours, the wine was racked into French oak barrels.
The 2002 vintage is ripe and juicy in flavor with currants, black fruits and a rich palate of leather, earth and spice, giving way to a long and balanced finish.
Founded in 1862, Tintara remains a testament to quality winemaking, combining age-old methods with new-age technology. The first vines were planted by Dr Alexander Kelly, and in 1863 the first Tintara winery was established at "Upper Tintara". Built against the rolling hills that foot the Mount Lofty Ranges, its ingenious sloping design allowed the labor intensive work to be achieved with the assistance of gravity, which also meant gentler handling of the juice.
In 1878, the Tintara winery and its gravity flow techniques moved to the Old Mortlock Flour Mill in the heart of McLaren Vale, where it remains today. In fact, to this day they use the very same rare basket presses and original slate open fermenting tanks as used in the 19th century. Tintara is a rarity in every sense.
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McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area with the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which contributes a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
In McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the most-planted grapes of the region. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the region are excellent.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.