The Wine Idealist is a direct result of my time spent in London, serving, tasting, and drinking some of Europe’s most amazing examples of sustainable winemaking. Thanks, mostly in part to my boss, Giles, the owner of Albertine Wine Bar, I was exposed first hand to the current evolution (or is that revolution?) of wine in all it’s natural, organic and bio-dynamic deliciousness.
The Albetine was a promoter of the Real Wine Fair, back in May 2012, and as a result, I was able to attend the industry day of tasting and sampling. According to my tasting notes from the time, a lot of the wine’s were much more aromatic and fruity than what I was used to. The red’s had a darker colouration and a slightly fuller, more defined mouthfeel, whereas the whites were fresher and more zingy, and almost always more complex than I was used to… Some nights, while working, we were able to try the different wine’s we had in the bar, and this provided me with a unique opportunity to taste the many different styles of sustainable wines we had on offer. This noticeable shift in flavour is important for me, because why else would we eat and drink the things we do?
Having recently arrived back in Australia, I was eager to investigate our very own example’s of sustainable winemaking, and find out just how far the evolution had spread…
Not very far, as it goes – but it is here. There have been articles written in a few major newspapers, restaurant’s and bar’s cropping up all over Sydney and Melbourne with a natural wine focus, and there are also quite a few sustainable winemaker’s spread throughout Australia and New Zealand – but to the average John and Jane Citizen, natural wine’s seem to be catching them unawares…
My aim, and why the Wine Idealist exists is to help promote natural, organic and bio-dynamic winemaker’s within Australia and New Zealand. I want to impart my passion and enthusiasm of wine onto anyone and everyone that has even the mildest interest of our wine industry, and the amazing world class wine’s they can both produce. But first let’s get a bit of context and take a look at a couple of our European counterparts…
Gran Cerdo, Tempranillo – 2011 – (ESP)
A more perfect introduction to this Spanish grape there is none… such a luscious fruit driven wine that is plump without being flabby, soft without being weak, and subtle, but certainly not quiet.
A black grape variety that is a native to Spain, specifically Rioja, Tempranillo is known as Spain’s ‘noble grape’.
This particular wine is made by a group of winemaker’s known as The Wine Love. I was lucky enough to meet one it’s creators – Gonzalo Gonzalo (yes, that is his name) – while tasting at the Real Wine Fair, back in May. He told me that the winery has no electricity, so everything is done mostly during the daylight hours, the grapes are whole bunch (stems,grapes, and all) crushed under foot, and the wine is pumped and bottled by hand.
This particular wine is kept away from oak, and instead, stored in concrete tanks, which impart a delicious minerality that provides a bit of structure to the plump fruit flavour.
I used to drink loads of this in the Albertine, but haven’t seen this around since returning home – I miss it dearly, but thankfully, there are a few Australian winemaker’s (natrual or otherwise) that trying their hand at this delicious grape.
Cuvée des Galets – 2010 – (FR)
From the appellation Côtes du Rhône, this is an amazing example of the potential that natural wine posses. In many ways this was my introduction to the natural wine movement.
It was always one of the more cheaper red’s on the Albertine wine list – possibly even the notorious ‘second cheapest’ wine that is chosen by just about everyone who feels a little self conscious when buying wine – and it is delicious.
Full fruit driven flavours, of strawberries, ripened raspberries, a hint of cranberries. Smooth and soft, it’s an everyday drinking wine that doesn’t command any great amount of attention – you just pop the rubber cork (only slightly more romantic than a screw cap) and drink it. End of.
There are of course loads more, and I will discuss as many as I can as the weeks go on… right now I need to catch up with sleep!
p.s. if you’ve got some news, information or suggestions for future post’s, or if you would just like to get in touch send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – or check out the Social Networking page and do that…