2020 Viognier joins multi-coloured southern France-inspired range

What a thing Minnow has become! What started as Shadowfax’s underdog red from southern French grape varieties has grown into a regular range of white, rosé and red with the occasional extra flitting in and out when something good crops up.

And that’s just what’s happened here, with a new Viognier here for a good time, not a long time. Grown by friends on the Malakoff Vineyard in Victoria’s Pyrenees, it delivers a good dose of Viognier flavour with lively freshness. Also in the range is the purple-labelled, purple-fruited Carignan, a crunchy, sappy, spicy red with juicy flow.

Everyone knows the rosé, a perennial favourite. And just hitting the shelves now is the latest rendition of the Minnow red blend, aka Grenache Mataro – another superbly fresh, slurpable midweek quaffer.

2020 Minnow Rosé $25

Squishy strawberry, nutty, toffee apple, a bit of spice. Slippery style, soft acidity, good amount of flavour, slight blood orange tang, almost a thick peel marmalade character, but not really sweet as such, though it is what you might call a comely rosé. A little pith and pepper on the finish, and plenty of interest throughout.

91 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

2020 Minnow Viognier $25

This Viognier was carefully grown in the renowned Malakoff Vineyard in the Pyrenees. The fruit was gently whole bunch-pressed and left to settle overnight prior to racking. The primary ferment was fermented at cooler temperatures to retain fruit aromas. After primary ferment it was gravity fed into older French hogshead barrels in our underground cellar for further maturing. It was left on light lees to develop further complexity for 6 months prior to bottling in early December 2020. – Al Timms, Shadowfax

2019 Minnow Carignan $25

The nose shows dark blood plum, briary spice, hints of liquorice. Brooding game meats add further intrigue. Black cassis fruits flow onto a round palate. Sappy tannins build through the wine, with a distinct Carignan crunch at the back of the palate. This dark and building wine has presence on the palate that rolls on that thrives with food. – Al Timms, Shadowfax

2020 Minnow Grenache Mataro $25

Carefully hand harvested fruit was picked in the cool of the morning to retain vibrancy. The Mataro 26%, Carignan 14% fruit was destemmed into small open fermenters, where wild yeast performed their magic. The ferments when lightly hand plunged to extract fine tannins. The Grenache (60%) portion was fermented using Carbonic maceration or whole bunch techniques to add blue fruit aromatics. The wine was then pressed and left to rest in older French hogsheads. The wine was racked then blended and bottled in December 2018.

A fun and vibrant wine with plum and blue fruits at its core. Dried apricots add another element. The tannins are raspy and long giving the wine a savoury crunch giving lovely texture and drive. The bright and lingering palate remains fresh, lending itself to that second or third glass. – Al Timms, Shadowfax

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