Barossa Valley, South Australia
On a brightly moonlit Tuesday evening at around eleven o'clock on the Barossa to Clare road, Dan Standish and Jaysen Collins are cruising their way to work the midnight shift for the last vintage of the century, in a beat-up old Toyota Corolla “The Brown Bullet”. During the drive home, they would often crave a soft slurpy wine to wash down a hard night's work. Out of this ideal they decided to join forces and make a Grenache based wine to be enjoyed whenever the mood takes hold. As such Massena Vineyards first wine “The Moonlight Run” was born.
Dan and Jaysen have been mates since High School and have been producing Barossa wine since that initial vintage in 1999, concentrating on the traditional values and techniques which have made the wines of this region unique. They source their fruit from dedicated growers in the North Western Barossa areas of Greenock, Kalimna and Koonunga Hill, providing fruit from dry farmed, low yielding vines up to 120 years of age.
While they work mostly with traditional Barossa varieties Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro from these growers, they also enjoy experimenting and trialling new varieties in the Barossa such as Petite Sirah, Barbera, Primitivo, Roussanne, Saperavi and Tannat. In true artisan style each vineyard section is kept separate during vinification and elevage, until the final blends are assembled.
In the December 2011 Issue of Wine Advocate, Lisa Perotti-Brown, MW notes, There’s been a massive culling of extraneous wines from Australia’s value offerings in the last couple of years." She goes on to say, "Most of the good value brands that have survived offer a level of character, complexity and regionality that in my view blow the competition from similarly priced wines from other countries clean out of the water...." She then lists her selection of 20 wineries that represent the best values from this past year. Download the attachment to read more.
The May issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine includes an article on Australia's Alternative varietals. The article highlights grapes like Malbec, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and PETITE SIRAH...
Massena's Petite Sirah 'Howling Dog' 2006 is the featured wine of this section with 92 pts. It's described as, '...an inky wine, yet remarkably well balanced and supple, marrying a lush, creamy texture with masses of blueberries and hints of mint and licorice..." Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, May 2011