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The Story

Brightly coloured, dipped in wax, alluringly named – their bottles are more akin to sex symbols than wines. But Unico Zelo’s offerings are anything but gimmicky – Brendan and Laura Carter are two experienced winemakers who value non-traditional varietals to make wines that are both fun to look at and to drink!

Brendan & Laura Carter + bonus dog

Their charter is to make wine as naturally as possible, whilst growing their team and community, and respecting and celebrating their natural environment. The latter is best evident with their focus on terroir across their winemaking – their different offerings of varietals are all made in exactly the same way, so the differences we see in the resulting wines are a direct result of the soil and climate they grew in. They call the Adelaide Hills home, but source fruit from other unique corners of South Australia, including the Clare Valley and the Riverland.

And what do we mean by non-traditional varietals? There is nobody else in Australia who champions southern Italian grapes like Unico Zelo do; those who make them usually bury them amongst the Shirazes, Cabs, Chardys, Pinots and Sauvs we all know and love. But here, it’s Nero d’Avola and Fiano that take full flight, in a climate that’s almost identical to their native home.

The Wines

Fiano

Jade and Jasper – Riverland

Aromatic, juicy, textural

Full of white peach blossoms, honeydew and lemon, all covered in a generous splash of Granny Smith Apple. This continues onto an electric palate, lifted by a rich fruit-sweetness, and sparked to life with a crisp acid line. 

River Sand – Riverland

Aromatic, bright, textural

From the remarkable organic Bassham Vineyards in Barmera, the heat of the Riverland brings the fun to this wine, with a lot of pineapples and ripe tropical fruit, but there’s a salinity to it to bring outrageous refreshment. Although, the real joy of this wine is the svelte, almost waxy, oily texture.

Slate Farm – Clare Valley

Expressive, juicy, powerful

The Clare Valley – in particular the hallowed halls of Polish Hill River – has been able to provide this Fiano an almost tropical quality due to the warmer days it sees without sacrificing its famous minerality that’s become the trademark of the high acid whites the region produces. This is like drinking out of a pineapple, floating in the ocean with coral beneath your feet.

Nero d’Avola

Halcyon Days – Riverland

Fresh, savoury, jovial

Organically managed in Barmera by the Bassham Family, the hot summers this grape adores gives the wine all the qualities we love in a great medium-bodied red wine: fresh acidity, plush red fruits, a whisper of spice and the kind of structure that’s ready for the esky. It’s the red that puts a beaming smile on your face, a pretence free wine made for good times, good people and maybe a disc of pizza or two.

Pipe Dream – Adelaide Hills

Expressive, juicy, powerful

Due to the cool and long ripening season in the Hills, ‘Pipe Dream’ is what we crack open when we want that rich, bold and lush red. Full of juicy plums and ripe cherries, this is your 2 squares of dark chocolate after dinner, a fantastical dream of a wine, plucked from the heavens where calories don’t exist and neither does “one glass too many”.

Fancy any of these? Pop by the store or email us at glenn@decanters.com.au

Wine regards,

Jack & Val