Zonte's Footstep Z-Force McLaren Vale Shiraz
This is our super-premium flagship wine, named in tribute to the bravery of members of the Z Special Unit, the celebrated multi-national commando force of the Australian Army during WWII.
Z Special Unit was a joint Allied special forces unit formed in Second World War, represented by a red Z with a dagger through its centre. This wine is the embodiment of the Z Special Unit. Gregarious, ballsy, confronting and full of impact. The extraordinary bravery of this unit is honoured in this wine, with each bottle supporting the work of Legacy in South Australia.
The fruit for Z Force is sourced from hand tended blocks in the Seaview Heights sub-region of McLaren Vale. Primary fermentation takes place in 5 tonne open fermenters after which the wine is racked into barrels and allowed to complete a natural malo-lactic fermentation before being pressed off. It is then transferred back into new and seasoned hogsheads and aged for up to 18 months prior to bottling with minimal filtration. This results in a wine with purity of fruit that is unpretentious and eminently satisfying to allow for regular indulgence.
Very dark, vibrant, purple with a dense crimson hue. Pepper/spice on the nose with macerated berries and a hint of pink grapefruit. Plum pudding and Christmas spices. Rich and soft entry with fragrant red fruits, some fresh tarragon and clear cedar characters complemented by dark cacao. Juicy macerated blackberries, tempered with the soft idiosyncratic milky McLaren Vale Shiraz sweetness and roundness and spike of red citrus and cranberry notes. Lush mouth filling after palate with rolling soft, fine grained fruit tannin. Choc mint finish, cedar and intense blackberry and caramelised grapefruit zest. Minutes later, the flavour still lingers.
Double Gold Medal China Wine & Spirits Awards Best Value 2015
95 points Peter Muscet, Australian Wine Showcase Magazine, July 2015
95 points – Wine Showcase Magazine (April 2014) “Superb nose packed with fruit and spice. Dark brooding colours in the glass with generous palate of red fruits and berries give the wine a silky mouthfeel.”
95 points – Wine Genius (April 2015) “WOW what an incredibly delicious wine… a tour-de-force indeed. Deepest black in colour with a profoundly energetic fruit profile, with soaked black cherry, mulberry and wild rose. Fully bodied and highly textural, with raw oak, cigar box overtones and tremendous natural acidity. Only time will tell exactly how good this wine is.”
94 points – James Halliday’s Top Cellaring Selections (May/June 2015)
94 points – James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2016, p. 755 “The inky colour reflects the single-vineyard blend of shiraz and durif (aka petite syrah). It's all about raw power or, if you prefer, Z-Force (Z-Force was a specialist allied forces unit that operated behind enemy lines in World Ware II, specialising in guerilla warfare). Sombre black fruits. licorice and earth are the drivers, tannins present, of course, but not the least aggressive; the curious outcome is a fullbodied wine that, with the right food, is approachable now.”
Double Gold Medal
China Wine and Spirits Awards Best Value 2022
Double Gold Medal
Women's Wine & Spirits Awards 2022
China Wine & Spirits Awards 2022
China Wine and Spirits Awards Best Value 2021
Critics Challenge USA 2021
AWC Vienna 2021
WineOrbit.co.nz, Sam Kim, May 2021
"It’s superbly ripe and gloriously expressed, showing dark fruit richness combined with spicy oak, cake spice, clove and dark chocolate notes, offering outstanding concentration and plush texture. Delicious and complex with an impressively long lavish finish. At its best: now to 2035."
4.5 stars/96 points
Winestate Magazine, World's Greatest Shiraz Challenge XVI, Sep/Oct 2021
"Elusive chocolaty/dark fruit aromas and very pleasant combination of chocolaty and black fruit flavours on the palate with dusty oak and chewy tannins."