Tim Smith’s wines are typically well-received at Graham HQ, with his generously textured reds a particular highlight.
I’m here to report that his new Tim Smith Wines Mataro 2022 & Tim Smith Wines Grenache 2022 are again delightful wines.
What makes them great? Clearly, quality fruit, and Tim’s winemaking tends to accentuate that quality by downplaying the winemaking. Actually, Tim tends to downplay the wines, and if they came from a more famous name, they’d be twice the $45 asking price.
No, I’m not complaining. These are joyous, vibrant, honest, enjoyable, silken textured, moderate wines for drinking and quietly thinking after a second/third glass ‘gee that Tim Smith knows what he is doing’. And in 2022, they’re on form too.
Anyway, here’s how they taste. I’ve included Tim’s laconic intros as well, just because. Both wines are unfined and unfiltered, which means ‘by default, they’re suitable for vegans and vegetarians,’ according to Tim.
Tim Smith Wines Grenache 2022
‘A blend of two vineyards on the Barossa “floor”, one planted in 1937, the other in the late 1930s. No whole bunches, matured in older French oak puncheons and aged on fine lees.’
Great purple colour. Lovely gummy jubey fruit too. Open, even seamless purple fruit that threatens to get a little bitter and warm on the finish but ends up as just this wonderful flow of purple jellybean (but savoury) Grenache fruit. Effortless, vibrant stuff.
Best drinking: now to ten years. You don’t have to wait. 18.5/20, 94/100, though touch and go for higher points based on drinkability. 14.5%, $45. Would I buy it? Yes.
Tim Smith Wines Mataro 2022
‘This year’s release is a single vineyard wine from a vineyard believed to be over 140 years of age. 140, 120, 100 years old… Does it make much difference? It’s bloody old. Matured in a combination of seasoned Hungarian and French puncheons.’
So deep, so dark. All savoury dark berry black fruit power that goes on and on in a withering black hole of fruit. It’s a foreboding sort of wine in its slightly bitter depth, perhaps at the cost of a bit of fun, but ho-boy, is it deep! If the Grenache is lightness, this is darkness. And pure darkness. The lack of new oak is so welcome here – step back and don’t fall in the Barossa Mataro hole!
Best drinking: it could do with another year, then drink over a decade easily. 18.5/20, 94/100, though I did mark it down at first and came up on day 2. Worth holding. 14.5%, $45. Would I buy it? Yes.
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Great product and great winemaker. Reserve Shiraz is a beauty but not made very often – 2018 is last vintage I believe.