2014 Latta ‘Glenlofty’ Shiraz
From great challenges arise great results. Latta wines, based in Walla Walla, is a pretty good example of this, being a winery born of an unusual history and with a dedication to producing characterful and unexpected wines. Andrew Latta, the head winemaker at Latta wines, doesn’t come from a family of winemakers, and has no traditional background to fall back on. He started from the bottom, sweating it out as a cellar hand, and worked his way up through the wine world, driven by a passion for wine which saw him end up as a Sommelier in Thailand. Finding himself working with wines in a country whose cuisine is notoriously difficult to pair with wines resulted in Latta learning to think outside the box, and this maverick approach served him well when he eventually decided to open his own winery and begin producing his own bottles.
His vision was a particular one: to work with the diverse and occasionally difficult soils of East Washington to produce wines which he would be proud to be associated with his land. Small yields, challenging seasons and a range of natural, sustainable methods were the way forward, and before long, the wines began to speak for themselves. Latta proudly uses increasingly popular methods such as using only native, wild yeasts to ensure that what is in the bottle is truly a local, sustainable product, full of flavours and features which reflect the principles of hard work and vision.
Banjo says: Owen Latta is one of the rising superstars in the Australian wine world, producing not only his own label Latta, but having taken on full responsibility for his family estate Eastern Peake since 2011. The Glenlofty area sits at the base of the Pyrenees, roughly an hour north-west of Ballarat. The wine is a rich, spicy expression of this relatively cool-climate area, with plenty of dark fruits and a rugged, ferrous texture. A powerful wine that will open up beautifully with some oxygen, so don’t hesitate to decant this wine before serving.
The grape type
Shiraz in Australia is as deep and dark a red as you can get. Once you arrive at Shiraz, you have hit the end of the line in terms of power. Full bodied wines but still elegant!
Fruit flavours: Dark Fruits. Think any fruits with blue or black in the name.
Other flavours: Herbs, Liquorice, Olives, Smokey, Peppery, Earthy
Australian Shiraz differs from its European counterpart in that it tends to be a bigger, bolder grape - sweet, ripe and lush, with a complex savouriness which is all its own. As such, it tends to pair brilliantly with a laid-back, New World style of cooking, unfussy and homely, and full of big flavours and character. Australian Shiraz is a great partner for a range of meat dishes, but does particularly well with smokey, barbequed meats and roasted or grilled beef dishes - especially dishes made from the tougher, cheaper, more densely flavoured cuts. It is also a grape varietal that pairs really well with strong cheeses, such as a mature Cheddar-style cheese.
We’ve teamed up with the talented team at Smudge Eats to match all our wines to their delicious recipes, which they’ve compiled from the country’s top and emerging chefs.
Recipe link: Braised Beef Cheek
Season matching: Winter
Mood matching: Any and all!
Taste matching: Rich