‘Sami-Odi’ is the creation of winemaker Fraser McKinley, originally from Auckland, who fell in love with Barossa Shiraz. Whilst studying a Bachelor of Spatial Design in New Zealand, he discovered wine, thereafter doing a vintage in the Barossa. After a five-year apprenticeship at ‘Torbreck’, he achieved several vintages at ‘Turley Wine Cellars’ in California, before working with Dan Standish from ‘The Standish Wine Company’ in the Barossa Valley. All this gave him more than enough experience for him to branch out on his own, and in 2007 ‘Sami-Odi’ was born. Fraser, and his wife Andrea, own a five-acre organic farm in the Barossa Ranges, from which they make olive oil. Fruit is sourced predominantly from Jeff and Adrian Hoffmann’s vineyard, named ‘Dallwitz’, which the Hoffmanns have owned since the 1940s. Fraser has adopted organic farming practices, and the Hoffmanns allow him to manage several rows of younger vines, which suits him well, as he likes to pick as early as possible. Many of his ferments utilise whole bunches of grapes, which often adds greater complexity to a wine. He is also a fan of carbonic maceration, a technique found mainly in Beaujolais for making light, but very fruity reds, such as Gamay and Pinot Noir. Some of Fraser’s wine involves the blend of multiple vintages, which makes for complex wines.
Much about the ‘Sami-Odi’ line-up is unexpected, including bottles, which seem more suited to fortified wines, rather than dry table wines. The ‘Little Wine #7 Syrah’ is an ‘assemblage’ of wine from four vintages, with deep flavours of ripe fruit, spice and herbal characters, with tannin and acid carrying it along to a silky finish. The ‘Hoffmann Dallwitz Syrah’ is savoury and rich red, with aromas of plum, olive and flowers, berries, blackberries and currants on the palate, with a superb length and luscious mouthfeel.
For more information on the Sami-Odi wines, head to the website.