Whilst still a travelling consultant winemaker, Bens favourite region to visit was central and southern Italy. It was there that his love of Montepulciano began, and those memories have inspired him to make this Aussie version from fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills. Bright violet and rich red roll around the glass opaque, vibrant and alive with aromas of beef stock and crished mint. Hints of cinnamon spice right through a palate that graduates to both sweet tobacco and the cigar-box that held it; the finish lingers with vanilla straight from the pod. Only serious structure can contain this kitchen of flavour and it does so spectacularly.