If you’re interested to see just how differently two wines made from the same varietal by the same winemaker in the same vintage can look – to really understand the importance of terroir, in essence – try Mother Moon 2017 beside our BK Syrah 2017. Where BK Syrah is dark chocolate, Mother Moon is fruity, pungent Guatemalan coffee with a strong acid line. Dense with flavours of smoky charcuterie, black olives, mulberry and even native Australian cherry. Would work fabulously well with a lean, gamey meat – kangaroo for our Aussie audience or duck if you’re further afield.
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An all-grown-up Chardonnay that would not fine itself lost on the streets of Burgundy. Soft and rounded with the complexity of experience but the precision that comes with absolutely nailing the picking date. There is much to be said for not forcing grapes to ripeness and the languorous conditions of the latter half of the 2017 vintage ensured restraint. Like a perfect peach individually wrapped in crisp, waxy paper, served with cream from a well-loved cow and sprinkled lightly with nutmeg.
100% Kenton Valley Chardonnay, wild yeasts, nine months bâttonage, 10 months in 10% new French oak.
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Don’t rush… do yourself a favor and take time just to inhale. Baked quinces and lavender custard with a sprinkle of dried marjoram and a slightly resinous edge. When you finally do get around to drinking, there is much craft to contemplate – beautifully scaffolded acidic freshness and chewy, chalky tannins. Aromatherapy with a very happy ending.
100% Lobethal Savagnin, wild yeasts, nine months bâttonage, 10 months in 100% neutral French oak.
In defiance of the rolling, edge-softening effect of our egg-shaped concrete fermenters, Ovum Pinot Gris 2017 is marked by a tight, intense nose. Honeysuckle blossom prettiness is underscored by refined, linear scents of graphite and candle wax. The palate – while vivacious – is far more broadly encompassing than the nose implies, with complex layers of white pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla pod – a full panoply of Moroccan spice. Drink with poached apples and seriously good French vanilla ice cream.
100% Lenswood Pinot Gris, 100% concrete ‘egg’ fermenter, wild yeasts, unfined.
Ardently, wildly, luridly, attention-grabbingly pungent with fire engine-red fruitiness. There is a youthful vigour and cleanliness to this wine that could lull you into thinking you’re at the juice bar at a yoga retreat. Well-toned and precise with very-berry flavours of cherry, pomegranate and tangy fresh cranberry. Pert and pretty.
100% Lenswood Pinot Noir, 70% whole bunch, wild yeasts, 100 days on skins, unfiltered & unfined, 10% new & 90% neutral French oak.
When you find yourself sniffing a wine and arguing about colognes and who was the slicker leading man, Tom Selleck or Pierce Brosnan, you know you’re nearing the end of an enjoyable afternoon. Sandalwood and bergamot with an orange blossom lift on the nose. Fully ripe, dark-red cherries with gripping tannins. A wine so hearty it tastes like it’s good for you.
100% Blewitt Springs Grenache, 100% whole bunch, wild yeasts, one month on unmacerated skins, matured in 100% neutral French puncheons.
MSG. Mourvèdre Shiraz Grenache. This is a dark, brooding, deep contemplator of a wine.
Think existential angst, just a lot more enjoyable. Exactly what you would expect of a Rhône blend reborn in a sun-burnt country – luscious, fleshy and intense with the lift of rose-petal concentrate. The tannins on this wine, similar to the BK Sparks Grenache 2015, are coating and mouth-filling, though considerably more rounded, grippy and sweet. Grab a bottle of BK Red Blend 2015, a soulful friend, a fire pit and a starry night and solve the world’s problems.
100% Blewitt Springs fruit, 100% whole bunch, wild yeasts, one month on unmacerated skins, matured in 10% new & 90% neutral French puncheons.
Hard yakka, this one. After a vintage of poor flowering we hand sorted this fruit with the precision you might employ if you were promised pearls amidst a pile of tiny plastic baubles.
In the end we took no more than 40% of the grapes, but goodness were they ever a happy bunch. The result is an aromatic tour de force. Imagine rhubarb, pomegranate and sarsparilla cocktails beside a charcuterie platter on a thick bed of pine needles. Meaty, concentrated, cherry cola intensity.
When Cult Syrah first hit the scene he was a mouthy upstart; a belligerent, in-your-face raconteur with noisy, controversial opinions on everything from Justin Bieber to geopolitics.
With every subsequent vintage he has matured, though we would never say mellowed. Gone are the screaming outbursts and rough edges verging at times on frivolity, replaced by a seriousness of purpose and the wisdom not to offend. He’s a grown-up sherbet, a tannic sorbet. He’s black pepper, curry leaf, cumin, bacon fat and salt. Where once he fidgeted, Cult Syrah now regally presides.
Chocolate and pork-blood pudding. Stay with me.
In a small town in Puglia the culminating highlight of the annual pig festival – back before small-town-festival pigs’ blood became contraband – was a warm custard-like sauce made on the spot with blood, milk and chocolate. As a tribute to the totality of the pig, one could hardly be more reverent. Whilst no pigs were harmed in the making of Sparks Grenache, the blood dessert analogy is a perfect one – in this case blood and raspberries. Chewy, dense, lifted and concentrated with a smooth, thick layer of chalk mid-palate. Vampire-like, this vibrant wine will live forever.