A package arrived the other day. Six bottles from Longview Estate in the Adelaide Hills.
Three whites and three reds. A couple of familiars but first timers too. Plenty of scope for exploration and enjoyment.
The new ones had us intrigued so of course we had to go to the source and find out more; to see what one of our favourite family wineries was up to.
We contacted Peter Saturno who with industry legend Brian Walsh at Bleasdale is driving the Longview name forward. Before we talked about the wines we talked to Peter about the background.
What was your first interest in wine?
I cut my teeth as a ‘grunter’ in a drive-thru pub in Adelaide. Grunters could clean up, stock up but couldn’t sell. I learned about a wide variety of products. I was guided by a lot of people who are still working in the industry today.
Can you remember a magic first taste?
Around age 18 I would say the wines that really impressed me were the icons of the time: Mount Mary Quintets and Triolet; Parker First Growth and the Lindemans Coonawarra Trio, especially Pyrus.
Wine is a tough business. How did you get into it and why?
Our family grew up in retail and hospitality. I studied Wine Marketing/Making and Viticulture at Adelaide University and did several vintages before working for a wine importer in New York. Our family property in the Adelaide Hills was next to a young but impressive winery ‘Longview’ and when the original owner needed to move on after only 6 vintages we thought it was something we could sink our teeth into. 16 vintages later and it still feels like we are the new kids on the block even though we have all learned so much.
What are some family favourite food and wine matches?
Coming from an Italian background traditional dishes are close to our hearts and we want to keep them alive for the following generations:
Baccala with Pinot Grigio in the warmer months and Cotechino with polenta and Nebbiolo in the cooler months.
What do you see for Longview in the future?
We want to continue as a super premium producer as well as a supplier to many small vineyards from our 60-hectare site in Macclesfield. We are constantly researching new varieties and clones from Piedmont because we retain a strong connection and love the wines from there. We always have something new on the cards and I can’t say too much but it does involve bubbles.
Now for the wines. Some notes from Peter and some thoughts from us.
‘Whippet’ Sauvignon Blanc 2023
From the highest altitude blocks with different prunings to allow a wide array of blending options. Slight skin contact for maximum flavour. Cool ferment in stainless steel.
This little beauty fairly leaps up to greet you. Smart and lively. Ripe citrus fruitiness with a touch of tropical richness including hints of pineapple. A little fleshier than its name might suggest but all clean and eager and satisfying as it sprints away.
‘Queenie’ Pinot Grigio 2023
From a high altitude SW-facing slope, this wine is proudly named after the matriarch. The vines were shoot and bunch thinned for even ripening. Hand harvested, chilled and whole bunch pressed. Best Pinot Grigio at Melbourne Royal Show for ’21 and ’22 vintages.
Bright and charming on the nose. A bunch of lemony fresh herbs.
So clean and fresh, with oysters you’d feel you almost don’t have to squeeze lemon. This wine is delightful. Really refreshing, you could enjoy it on its own on a hot day but perfect with seafood anytime.
‘Macclesfield’ Chardonnay 2022
Selection starts in the vineyard where only the best bunches are picked. Whole bunch pressed, barrel ferment for 20 days. Two barrels were wild fermented. A portion sees malolactic and lees contact for 3 months.
Just 3200 bottles were produced.
Delicately gold in the glass. The nose is assured and classic Chardonnay. Pure white fruit, peaches and nectarines. The taste is lively and complex. Many layers keep swirling on the palate. Some nuttiness among the slightly creamy texture, finishing clear and bright. Another mouthful, please.
‘Vista’ Shiraz Barbera 2022
Co-fermented as both varieties ripened at the same time. Complete and seamless. 73% /27%. Matured in well-used French oak for just 8 months.
At first mouthful, you feel you have a generous Aussie shiraz. Solid and decent red/black fruit. A complete mouthful. Then on further swirl, you are pleased by the touch of savouriness you find in so many Italian reds. Not firm but sturdy, a rewarding blend.
‘Yakka’ Shiraz 2021
From five distinct blocks all north facing. Separated into five fermenters, three de-stemmed and crushed, two whole-berry ferments. 5% new oak the rest 3-6 year old, matured for 12 months. Gold at Adelaide and Adelaide Hills Shows.
It pours deep dark and mysterious but it is a very precise and direct wine, easy to understand. Lovely lifted aroma or pure ripe shiraz fruit it knows where it’s going and shows it. A thoroughbred, taut and focused.
Not plummy or jammy but generous with flavour. Not hard yakka, easy to enjoy its pure quality.
‘Devil’s Elbow’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
From 28-year-old estate vines. All fruit picked in March, open fermented on skins for 10 days. Maturation in 10% new French oak for 15 months
Top Gold and Trophy for Best Cabernet at Royal Melbourne 2022. First Adelaide Hills cabernet to win this prestigious trophy.
A deep red with glints of garnet in the glass as you swirl it. Fine, lifted aromas, not over-generous but a very elegant lead to a sophisticated journey. A perfect balance takes you through delicious fruit to a satisfying ending with fine tannins. A cabernet for enthusiasts.
As well as the impressive line-up of wines the Longview estate offers a superb cellar door, function rooms and kitchen with super accommodation suites too.
In all a delightful package indeed from a fine family enterprise with an eye on the future. We hope the good things keep coming.