2012 Travis Earth Mataro Shiraz Krondorf Vineyard Barossa

Bold… Elegant… Confident

The name Travis Earth  may not ring any bells – but it most definitely deserves a blip on your radar.

Having grown up as the son of Robert O’Callaghan – founder and winemaker at the Barossa Valley’s ubiquitous Rockford – Travis Earth O’Callaghan is now making a name for himself as the fourth subsequent generation of winemaker in the family.

Shying away from the limelight, Travis has escaped the boundaries of his father’s brand to live a more peaceful life on the sidelines, just doing what he loves at his own pace.

Tucked away down a narrow dirt track you’ll find Travis at his home – tending to his organic garden alongside his farm birds and dogs, possibly dabbling in the art that adorns some of his labels and fills his home.

This relaxed and “at one with nature” approach carries through to his winemaking practices. He sources grapes from select vineyards across the Barossa, to make seven wines including a Semillon, Semillon-Viognier, unwooded Mataro, a premium Mataro, a couple Shiraz’s, and this Mataro-Shiraz.

Sourcing the grapes from one of dad’s best blocks in Krondorf, this is a single vineyard Mataro-Shiraz grown with minimal intervention, no pesticides, and is dry grown. This vineyard gets treated with only the utmost love and respect, and has done for many years.

Weighing in at 75% Mataro 25% Shiraz, made using open fermenters and a 140 year old basket press (“older than Dad’s” he boasts) they are aged separately up to 3 years – the Mataro in old French and the Shiraz in old American hogsheads.

With little to no filtration, the wines are then blended and bottled to produce less than 200 dozen – his largest batch.

Like a much loved Chesterfield the wine is deep ruby to burgundy in colour, and the aroma hits like an in form Shane Watson. Stewed plum, mulberries and raspberries, hints of dried fig and dark chocolate, and floral violet. You’ll find anise and cinnamon spice too, but only if you look for it.

Tasting the wine speaks volumes about the way it was grown and treated during processing. Generously full-bodied with rich, juicy, dark fruits like plum and blackberry, moving through to the typical jamminess you’ve come to expect from the Barossa. Silky smooth and velvety soft tannin is balanced by a medium amount of acidity, proving that this wine has good potential for cellaring. Subtle earthy spices carry it forward to a long finish that tends towards leathery and gamey. Black pepper is there, but just as an afterthought.

Long, lingering, and contemplative, this wine will develop well over time, yet it is utterly enjoyable now.

Keep an eye out for Travis’ wines at select retailers, or come for a Barossa Valley wine tour with Small Batch Wine Tours to taste his full range of outstanding wines.

FOOD: Match with slow cooked osso-bucco ragu heaped on fresh pappardelle and topped with shavings of provolone.

SOUNDTRACK: Smooth stylings of BB King

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