Riot Wines turn out a fresh set of quaffable canned wines in their regular series, but things get a little more serious with the Limited Release wines. Grenache from a single vineyard in McLaren Vale spends time in a Sonoma Cast Stone concrete egg, keeping fruit to the fore, with wild berries and cherries up front, spices and woodsy herbs accenting, while pithy, grapey tannins keep everything in line on the palate.
4 x 250mL cans per pack.
There’s depth and freshness here, with wild raspberries, ripe cherries and blackberries, accented with a brush of wild herbs and subtle spices. This has been raised in a concrete egg, so oak is not a factor, but the wine has been given a harmony that a steel tank never would, with a neat meshing of gentle grapey tannins into the vibrant fruit, an earthy, savoury complexity deepening the interest. It’s in a can, but it’s both agreeably delicious and a seriously good wine, no matter the vessel.
Themes of this wine
The great grape of the Southern Rhône, grenache, has also found many homes around the world, from Spain, to Italy, to California, while Australia is home to the world’s oldest productive grenache vines, planted in 1948. Today, a renaissance is seeing the grape championed, with makers in McLaren Vale arguably turning out the most compelling examples.
While it couldn’t feel any more removed from city life, the McLaren Vale wine region is actually inside Adelaide’s metropolitan area. And although the township itself is only 40 minutes by car from central Adelaide and vineyards brush up against ever-encroaching housing, McLaren Vale remains unaffected by the urban sprawl. With deeply etched history, the Vale has a slow-paced sense of calm and an extraordinary wealth of untrammelled beauty. It is home to some of this country’s most beautifully pristine beaches, as well as some of the world’s most forward-thinking grape-growers and winemakers. And with over 80 cellar doors, it is an essential destination for wine lovers – and anyone else, for that matter.
Amphorae are some of the most ancient winemaking vessels, and the modern practice of using ovoid fermenters is a very similar idea, with the shape encouraging ferment vectors to swirl and tumble. While amphorae are typically made from clay, eggs (and various other similar shapes, including tulip-shaped vessels) come in a range of materials, from concrete to ceramic to steel.