McLaren Vale’s family owned and operated Hastwell & Lightfoot has released new wines in its Fat ‘n Skinny series.
The wines include the 2018 ‘The Red Fury’ Tempranillo Garnacha, 2017 ‘Picker’s Choice’ Shiraz Tempranillo Barbera and 2018 Pinot Grigio.
The Fat ‘n Skinny characters date back to the late 1980s. The brand stems from the original label of Hastwell & Lightfoot, which depicted a porcelain figurine that Martin and Jill Lightfoot purchased on a whim in Bellagio whilst visiting Italy.
“The figurine summed up our approach to our brand; well-crafted, quite striking, yet not taking ourselves too seriously,” said Martin Lightfoot.
“We initially used this image on a cheeky sample label that we sent to our United Kingdom distributors who immediately named the characters Fat ’n Skinny. I think they may have been poking fun at us.
“As the Hastwell & Lightfoot brand established itself, the packaging evolved with the ‘H&L’ taking centre stage. The light-hearted ‘Fat ‘n Skinny’ assumed its own identity with wines showcasing the brand’s style rather than a particular variety.”
With growing sales in Canada, China, Germany, UK and Australia, the wines have developed over the years.
“As these wines are made to a style, the varieties tend to change each year, depending upon the vintage,” explained general manager Kishan Sidhu.
“The international markets continue to be big supporters of McLaren Vale and these blends are sparking great interest.
“Each vintage we play around with the components for these wines,” explained winemaker James Hastwell.
“This is the fun part of winemaking. We have some interesting parcels of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Shiraz and Barbera to choose from, all of which are grown on our own vineyards.
“Both the 2017 and 2018 vintages in McLaren Vale were good, with the wines vibrant and aromatic with lovely structural tannins. 2018 saw a mostly dry January and February, along with moderate temperatures, ensured a consistent ripening and removed the usual harvest pressures.”
The Fat ‘n Skinny ‘The Red Fury’ and ‘Pickers Blend’ are both single vineyard blends that were matured for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak.
“The ‘Picker’s Choice’ has a small amount of our rosé in the blend to add softness,” said Sidhu.
“We want to make affordable, medium bodied wines with ‘approachability’ from the day they are released; wines with plenty of vibrant fruit and soft tannins that can be enjoyed during a meal, or simply when catching up with friends.”
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