industry reviews

Tasting Mitolo “GAM” McLaren Vale Shiraz 2005

GAM Shiraz, from Mitolo’s websiteI’m sure there’s a car that epitomizes power and finesse. I don’t know what it is, because I’m not a car-brand-knowing-type-person. But whatever car that is, this wine is the bottled version of it. Tasted as part of a “Robert Parker’s High Raters” at Lake Travis Wine Trader’s Saturday Premium Tasting. Parker gave this wine a 95, if you’re interested.

Opaque purpley red in color. Enormous, multi-faceted nose of menthol, fir sap, aged cheese, peppered salami and blackberry jam. The palate, well. When I sipped this wine, it felt like someone had let loose the Fists of Fury on my teeth. Full-bodied, with great balanced acidity and a firm tannic grip. Well-integrated, firecracker explosions of red currant, black pepper and blueberry skin. Finish goes for miles. Sells for about $48.

Mitolo is a joint venture between two very powerful men: Frank Mitolo and winemaker Ben Glaetzer. Well, strictly speaking, Mitolo started the winery in 1999 and Glaetzer became a partner in 2001. The name of the wine, GAM, refers to Frank’s children Gemma, Alexander and Marco. Frank Mitolo is the general manager of his family’s agricultural business, Comit Farm. His family’s business is one of the largest potato and onion packing companies in Australia. Mitolo’s winery was founded in 1999, with grapes sourced from the Lopresti family. Here’s an interview of Frank from Jancis Robinson’s site, and a concise review of Mitolo’s recent releases at Vinosense.

Ben Glaetzer, from his winery’s websiteBen Glaetzer now runs his family’s winery, and also consults for other labels in the region, obviously. He’s a bit of a golden boy in Australian winemaking, as is Mitolo in Australian business, it seems. There’s a long story on Ben at Wine Anorak, and an interesting snippet by Ray Isle on tasting Glaetzer’s wines with him in September.

I loved the living shit out of this wine, but frankly, when I researched it in order to post on it here, I found these high-powered owners/winestars really getting on my nerves! I kept getting this strong Type A, fraternity, power broker vibe from every bit of press I saw on these guys, from reviews to interviews. Is it small of me to dislike them for their press? Am I hating the playas, do you think, when I should be hating the game? And, more importantly, can you like a wine made by someone whose public image gives you a pain?

2 replies on “Tasting Mitolo “GAM” McLaren Vale Shiraz 2005”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *