Lifestyle Food & Wine Zonte's: Big is Beautiful
Zonte's: Big is Beautiful
Written by Dr Craig Drummond MW
Tuesday, 28 November 2017


Zonte’s Footstep is a large-volume producer based in McLaren Vale, South Australia. It sources fruit from a number of South Australian regions including Langhorne Creek, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula among others. It is a partnership of a group of wine industry people with production in the hands of competent winemaker Ben Riggs. They produce more than a dozen wines, sourced from more than 200ha of vineyards, and the resultant 20,000 plus cases of wine are distributed across the wine drinking world. A variety of styles are made from the mainstream varieties and a number of Italian varieties that are gradually establishing themselves in the Australian wine scene, labelled with eclectic and imaginative names.
I have found it interesting to review a volume producer as opposed to small-to-mid-sized producers usually reviewed in these tastings. And I have not tasted them in the large number of tastings I have been involved in (horizontal, vertical, regional, Australian Vs International etc) and I have missed them on the wine shop shelves. The five wines tasted are all-enjoy-now, easy drinking wines; simple, honest, made for short-to-medium term consumption, varietally expressive and economical. In fact, all five wines tasted have a recommended retail price of ~$20. All are current vintage 2017 (or no declared vintage).

The Wines

201712-Bolle-Felici-ProseccoNVZonte's Footstep Bolle Felici Prosecco201712-Scarlet-Ladybird-FP-Rose
Bolle Felici translates as 'happy bubbles' and that is just what this wine is. Prosseco, aka Glera, is a Northern Italian variety. Its neutrality and firm acidity makes it ideal for sparkling wine production. They are charmat (tank secondary fermented) produced rather than the more complicated methode champenoise (bottle fermented). This wine typifies the style. Clean, fresh, linear, with green apple aromas and flavours and a nutty almond finish. Easy to enjoy as a late afternoon aperitif.

2017 Zonte's Footstep Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills
Nose shows SB zestiness with pungent green fruit and nettle aromatics. The palate is dry with grapefruit and herbal flavours. Shows the characteristic raspy acidity of SB. Chilled it makes a great summertime drink.

2017 Zonte's Footstep Doctoressa Di Lago Pinot Grigio, Adelaide Hills
Pinot Grigio (Italy) is as Pinot Gris (France). Italian 'styled' versions are less aromatic, more linear and acidic (in Australia often achieved by earlier grape picking). This wine shows the typical 'copper tinted' colour. The aromas are slightly pungent, a touch of typical grape phenolic, with spice and quince. The palate typically textural and unctuous with flavours of ripe pear and quince. Needs to be consumed with food.

Reviewer’s Pick
2017 Zonte's Footstep Lady Marmalade Vermentino, Fleurieu Peninsula
This wine was my top of this tasting. A fascinating variety from the Southern Mediterranean (Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia), which is establishing itself in the Australian viticultural landscape. It is as it should be – crisp, clean, linear, showing lemon citrus and green apple. Firm acidity gives length with a clean refreshing finish. Easy to enjoy this summer.

2017 Zonte's Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rose, Fleurieu Peninsula
Varietal content not declared but I think it is Grenache based. Beautiful pink/magenta colour is very inviting. Aromas of rose petal and candy, with flavours of cherry kernel and strawberry. A dry-style, easy drinking wine. Great to consume while watching the late afternoon sun sink into the ocean.

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Does red wine cause headache? I have heard a lot of people say that it does. I have also heard many say that it is bunkum. It’s the amount of alcohol you drink that causes the vasodilatation and headache they would say. Some put it down to histamines in wine. Others point to the sulphite content as the culprit.

Personally, I have become aware over recent years that certain types of wine, mainly red, will predictably bring on a headache within an hour or so of consumption. And I am talking here about no more than two standard drinks as the trigger.

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