The El Bandito The Dark Side 2017 by Testalonga comes from Shiraz vineyards from the early 2000s – the vines are still in full bloom, but thanks to the low yield, they are already delivering phenolic grapes. The vineyards are cultivated by Craig with no herbicites, pesticides or fungicites. He also does without artificial irrigation. These measures alone have a positive effect on the quality of the grapes and keep the yield low. After hand-picking, the grapes are fermented spontaneously with the vineyard’s own yeast and matured in 3000l wooden barrels. After expansion, it is neither fined nor filtered and filled with minimal sulfur.
The Testalonga El Bandito The Dark Side has a deep dark color with a black core. It smells of red berries and dark stone fruits, of cloves, mocha and cocoa beans as well as tart spiciness. On the palate it has a present tannin and a fine interplay of acids. In terms of alcohol, the Shiraz is quite slim and straight, but still brings a weighty body into play. The finish is long and dominated by the heavier aromas. The El Bandito The Dark Side Shiraz demands air, so give it a few hours in the carafe before serving it slightly chilled from large glasses with roasted game, braised lamb or an oven-baked bean stew with roasted butter crumbs and thyme.