Luke Tocaciu runs with Patrick of Coonawarra

Luke Tocaciu (pictured) manages his family business Patrick of Coonawarra. (Photo: Patrick of Coonawarra)

Luke Tocaciu has picked up the ball and run with it. The son of a distinguished winemaker (the late Patrick Tocaciu), he is a fine winemaker in his own right. Patrick Wines of Coonawarra is the family business, established by Pat and his wife Jenny in 2004, and now managed very capably since Pat’s death in 2013 by Luke, 33, himself a trained winemaker.

The wines are built on the solid foundation of extensive estate vineyards: 36 hectares in Coonawarra and 42 hectares in Wrattonbully.

I dropped in on a chilly winter morning at the welcoming and unpretentious cellar door, where they were serving two vintages of riesling, the current 2017 (AUD $25) and an aged release, 2012 (AUD $39), and three of their top cabernets back to 2002. All were available for sale at the cellar door.

The reserve cabernets are my kind of Coonawarra cabernet: not oaky, not gum-leafy, not too tannic, but concentrated and rich with abundant fleshy extract and lovely balance. The fruit aromas and flavours are properly ripe, treading the straight and narrow path – no greenness and no overripeness.

I tasted the 2002 Reserve, and 2006 and 2010 (current release at AUD $125) Grande Reserves: all very good, my pick being the 2006. They’re expensive but worth it.

The wines are built on the solid foundation of extensive estate vineyards: 36 hectares in Coonawarra and 42 hectares in Wrattonbully. The Wrattonbully plantings contain shiraz, sauvignon blanc, and some of the riesling. All of the cabernet is grown in Coonawarra.

Luke also makes a very fine apple cider, called Applelation. Again, balance is the key: it’s not to dry nor too sweet, but at least to my palate, just right.

Patrick Wines should have a higher profile than it does. But, like many in Coonawarra, the Tocaciu’s are not big self-promoters. They don’t chase the media or spend a fortune on PR firms, they let their wines do the talking. Long may they run.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *