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La Violetta Wines

By Alex Russell on July 14, 2015 in Food

Photo: Carl Fredrickson

Photo: Carl Fredrickson

There seems to be a new wave of winemakers who make a lot of interesting wine in small batches. The wines they make are sometimes polarising, but always fascinating.

Andrew (AJ) Hoadley of La Violetta Wines is making some fascinating stuff over in Denmark (Great Southern) in WA, after gaining lots of experience throughout Australia, Italy and the US.

His first release picked up huge reviews. He doesn’t donate to shows, as there isn’t enough to go around. Instead, he relies on word of mouth.

The Reds

Matthew Jukes is a UK wine writer who really knows his Australian wines, so you know that the wines that make it into his top 100 are crackers. The 2008 La Ciornia did just that and the 2010, which I tasted, looks amazing too. It’s a Shiraz with a dash of Viognier, loads of pepper and a huge amount of complexity.

The Up! Shiraz is the next cab off the rank: a more savoury wine with lots of acidity, giving it a refreshing element. It’s not all about a massive whack of sweet fruit, like many other Australian Shirazes. This is more the kind of wine you have with food, perhaps drawing on his Italian winemaking days.

You’ll find a couple of other interesting reds in the Almirante y Obispo (Garnacha (aka Greanche) Mataro Tempranillo) and the Le Rayon V (Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon). The Malbec is exposed to new oak and drinks well now, but you’ll also taste a serious side to it that could do with some cellar time to mellow. In contrast, the Almirante draws on Spanish grapes and has a really lovely nose to it. You almost don’t want to drink it.

For those of you who are willing to venture away from the bigger regions, you’ll find some really lovely wines amongst these reds. If you’re interested in the winemaking details and techniques, they’re on his website. They’re a little different.

The Whites

The two main whites that he makes are the Ü (röck döts) and Das Sakrileg.

Ü is a blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Grauburgunder. Again you just want to smell it all day! Lots of rose scents from the Gewurz. It has a nice structural acidity without being piercing. The wine gets some skin contact (seven months), which is odd for a white, but adds a lovely complexity to it. This one sells out quickly, so get in fast.

Das Sakrileg is, as the name suggests, sacrilegious to at least some people. Riesling is usually made without any skin contact, so seven months along with some time in barrel is odd. But it works for me.

The Special Bits

You’ll also find a few interesting drops in the Yé-Yé white and red, the Spunk Nat (a sparkling rosé made from Shiraz and Riesling – what?) and even a special batch of the Ü that is treated a bit differently.

Jump on the mailing list, as lots of these wines are limited. You can order through his website,