This wine is a lot of fun, but don’t let the irreverent tone to the name and the label let you think this is a simple wine. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is made in the modern style, favouring freshness and drinkability over oak and tannins. It is medium bodied but with the peppery and spice flavours you associate with Shiraz.
The winemakers have told us the name has something to do with Panamanian howler monkeys and their ability to select only perfectly ripe grapes from a vineyard, but I don’t take this too seriously.
The wine has been sourced from two Yarra Valley vineyards, where they pick the fruit only when the flavour is right, on the fresh “red” spectrum. 50% of the fruit is then tipped directly into an open fermenter and covered, bunches and all. This is Whole Bunch Fermentation, and allows for carbonic fermentation. The goal behind this process is to create greater complexity, freshness and silkier tannins, providing extra fragrance and perfume. Coupled with some old fashioned foot stomping, this is a pretty natural winemaking process.
The wine is then transferred into some older barrels for 8 months maturation before bottling with minimal filtration and fining. As stated before this is bottled with no Sulphur additions, making it preservative free, however the intention of the winemaker is not to jump on the Natural band wagon, but rather to make a Shiraz / Syrah style more in line with the European sense of style and place. The Yarra Valley is a cool climate and so it will not make a Barossa Style of Shiraz, so why even try.
What they have created is a lovely and very drinkable Yarra Valley Syrah, which just happens to be Preservative free.
Only 200 cases are produced each year.