2021 Riot Wine Co. ‘Out of the Wood’ Chardonnay
While a can of wine may seem like it’s a wine for the park, with all the bells and whistles of classic chardonnay making, this effort deserves taking a decent glass along for the ride.
This is the first syrah that Owen Latta has made since 2015, and it’s stunning stuff. An incredibly complex and darkly seductive wine, with wild fruits accented by exotic spices and craggy minerals – midweight, chewy and speaking loudly of place.
A blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon from older vines. Cullen has given the fruit a bit of a luxury Bordeaux treatment with plenty of classy oak, but the vibrant lift of cut herbs and cassis leave the strongest impression, with a textual but brightly fresh palate following up.
Owen Latta’s take on viognier is a world away from the norm of exotically lifted wines, dripping in apricot floral. Instead, his is a wine of orchard fruits creeping to ripeness with pops of honeycomb and nuts, a slip of texture and a gently pithy palate to gnaw on.
Sourced from three sites, with vines from 55 to 90 years old, Pete Schell crafts the fruit into a democratically priced everyday wine that over delivers in a major way. Crushed red berries and cherries, spices and florals leading to a palate shot through with rocky and earthy minerality, the balance impeccable.
John Hughes’ mastery of the riesling grape has already been amply proven, but in the superb 2021 vintage that dial’s been turned up to new limits. This is an intense play of jasmine and lime, effusive but not overly exotic, with tension and effortless balance through a long finish underlining its pedigree.
A decade in barrel, first under flor yeast, then on ullage (an oxidative environment), it’s fair to say this is a unique wine for this country. This bristles with briny Sherry notes, roasted nuts and linseed, an explosion of orange-skinned citrus and spice riding the uber-dry and saline palate.
Built from mataro, grenache and cinsault, this illustrates what makes blends so compelling – each component pooling into the gaps left by the others, leaving a seamless whole, laced with ripe red fruits, spice and floral notes, the palate supple, with fine grip and natural freshness.
This rosé is an expression of all the red varieties in the Cullen vineyard viewed through a deep pink lens. Fragrant, spicy and herbal, with a plump of richness cleaned up with a gentle grip working in concert with the acidity.
The ‘Fresh Prince’ marshals a quartet of red varieties with decent crossover on a Venn diagram but are rarely all seen together, offering a fragrantly floral and spicy nose, with earthy notes, red and dark fruits and a palate of chewy, grapey tannins and fresh zip.
Subtle orchard fruits and dryly savoury. Light on its feet, with a fine, lightly textural and grippy feel.
Sweet, but cut through with salted nut and smoky notes, and alcohol spirit lending it shape and line. Crittenden Estate’s take on the Macvin of France’s Jura region, with flor-aged savagnin combined with unfermented new-vintage juice, then fortified.
A savoury, textured and mineral chardonnay from 2020’s Young Gun of Wine.
Such a new Australian perspective on Sicily’s most important red grape. Light, vibrant, cherry scented and detailed, pitched to take a chill, or not – this is required drinking.
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Today, there is an ever-growing category of red wines that are best served properly cold. With more reds in the fridge at wine bars, restaurants and progressive retailers, it’s clear that a Deep Dive was called for! We gathered every Australian purpose-built chillable red that we could find and set our expert panel the task of finding the wines that compelled the most. All wines were tasted blind, and each panellist named their top six wines.
Now grown in well over 20 Australian regions, vermentino has become a readily recognised name for more curious consumers, so we thought it timely to check in to see exactly where vermentino is at with a Deep Dive. We gathered every Australian varietal vermentino we could find and set our expert panel the task of finding the wines that compelled the most. All wines were tasted blind, and each panellist named their top six wines.
The top 50 finalists have been selected based on the pursuit of fruit and wine quality, vine health, innovation, and sustainability – encompassing environmental, social and economic sustainability.
“By focusing on the vineyards, on the places where wine comes from, and on the practices of sustainable grape growing, these awards can help recalibrate how we think about wine, shifting our perception of it from a liquid commodity in a glass to a cultural product of the country it’s from,” said awards panellist Max Allen.
“It was thrilling to visit each of these vineyards, albeit vicariously,” continued Allen, “and learn about all the hard work going into looking after the land, nurturing the health of the vines, and – most importantly – continually improving wine quality.”See the list here
Today’s chardonnay makers are as intent on flavour as they are elegance, with no single recipe for success, but rather a site-specific approach that is seeing the chardonnay landscape becoming an increasingly exciting one. The 2022 Young Gun of Wine Awards features Mulline, Ada Wine Co., Marco Lubiana, Site Wine, South by South, and Nature of the Beast, whose wines tell this story
Young Gun of Wine has announced the trophy winners for their 16th annual winemaker awards. Since 2007, the awards have provided an opportunity to connect emerging winemaking talent with wine drinkers, and to support creative talent shaking things up and exploring news ideas in wine. In that time, the awards have expanded and grown.
Shiraz has seen a dramatic revolution, from the increase in cooler climate plantings to makers pursuing styles from the spicily fragrant and elegant to the distinctly nouveau, with early consumption and a good chill all part of the modern picture, not to mention reviving the fading tradition of sparkling shiraz. The 2022 Young Gun of Wine Awards features Entropy, Bowerbird, Weathercraft, Cuvée-Co, Harrison, Kenny Wine, Scion and Paxton, whose wines tell this story.
Grenache is one of the most exciting prospects in Australian wine, with fruit becoming both scarce and expensive. And while that equation may seem a daunting prospect for many emerging makers, the lure of the grape is seeing many forge relationships with growers to give their spin on the grape. The 2022 Young Gun of Wine Awards features Rollick, Ada Wine Co., Cooter & Cooter, Hedonist, Saltfleet, White Gate and Sven Joschke, whose wines tell this story.
Wine, like most things, falls victim to the whims of fashion. One minute a grape variety is riding a seemingly unstoppable wave of success, and the next minute growers can’t give the fruit away. Some winemakers are dusting off the classic varieties and giving them a makeover, either in big swings away from the familiar path or with subtle reinventions. The 2022 Young Gun of Wine Awards features LS Merchants, Sabi Wabi, Entropy, Lauren Langfield, White Gate and Patrick of Coonawarra, whose wines tell this story.
“If we went back 10 years, the relationship between sugar and acidity would be a lot more obvious – all over the shop. There’d be sugar here, acid there, and things would not be anywhere near as in balance as a lot of the wines we saw today.”