They were born an ocean apart, separated by a generation. Yet from the moment Anthony J. Terlato and Michel Chapoutier met, it was clear they shared a kinship, a common vision so deeply ingrained it could almost be called instinctual . Love of wine, there was that, but more important was a passion for quality and authenticity. In the early spring of 1987, while in the Burgundy region of France, a suggestion was made to Tony Terlato to visit the Chapoutier winery, which was seeking a new agent to represent their wines in the U.S. market. Tony remembered the important wines made by Michel Chapoutier’s grandfather in the ’50s and ’60s from when he worked in his father’s retail wine store. Partially for their proximity to the Rhône region and for the respect he had for the past importance of the Chapoutier name, Tony accepted the invitation and an appointment was set. During the early part of the visit, Tony remembers his interest was lukewarm; however, before dinner, Tony was introduced to Michel Chapoutier, then 25 years old. They tasted some of the wines in progress for two hours and continued through dinner. While tasting and talking, some of the subjects they discussed were viniculture, viticulture, biodynamic farming and single grape production. The next morning Tony called his son, Bill, and told him, “Last night I met a genius who will one day soon make great wines, and we will market them in the United States.” In 1998 Michel discovered an area in the Australian Pyrenees and called Tony exclaiming, “If we plant vineyards here we can make great wines in this soil. I would like you to be my partner.” Bill Terlato and Doug Fletcher, Vice President of Winemaking for Terlato Wine Group, visited the property and the joint venture was soon formed. Then, from 1998 to 2000, 46 acres of predominately Shiraz were planted. Due to drought, the vineyard struggled for a time, but in 2004 Michel proclaimed 17 of the acres had produced a wine that was ready to be bottled. And so Terlato & Chapoutier lieu dit Malakoff Shiraz (640 cases) was born. A label the partners envisioned will become a celebrated wine brand during this century.
It pours a totally opaque black dark crimson red colour with deep dark crimson red hue. The nose displays lifted notes of ripe blackberry, dark plum, dried meats, a touch of liquorice and a strong black pepper end note. Full bodied, the palate boasts superb richness with mouth-filling flavours of ripe blackberry, liquorice, some meaty characters and a pronounced peppery finish. Very fine grained, although slightly dryish tannins give the wine a slightly chewy mouthfeel. Perfectly balanced. Excellent length with long ripe blackberry, black cherry, liquorice and black pepper aftertaste.