A Brave New World

November 22, 2019

The world of wine is changing like never before and as I have written previously the rise of wine in a can and 2.0 litre casks are shaking things up just a tad. Well, here are a few other things that may (or may not) shake up the wine world in the near future.

TEA INFUSED WINE:  Pernod Ricard have launched a range of wines which have been infused with tea. Calling it, Tea & Wine Infusions, they have recently gone on sale at Dan Murphy’s for $22 a bottle. The range currently consists of a:

  • Chardonnay – infused with Egyptian Camomile blossoms, and a
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – infused with Sri Lankan Chai.

Just after fermentation, the wines were infused with loose-leaf organic tea. Apparently this was a tricky process to master, taking a couple of years to do so. A bit like how long do you jiggle or dangle the tea bag in your cuppa I guess?

Pernod Ricard believe that this unique combination will enable the drinkers to create some me-time / down-time, relaxing over their glass of tea wine, which sounds better than a winey tea!! www.teaandwine.com

I would love to hear from anybody who has tried this new product/concoction.

A LEGEND IN ITS OWN LUNCHTIME: There is a new red grape variety called, Divico, which is being hailed as a “game changer” for English red wine due to its later blossoming, higher resistance to mildews and moulds.  Additionally, according to its creators the Agroscope Research Centre in Pully, Switzerland, it also matures late and produces great quality wines that have abundant colour and tannins.

It is described as an “artificial cross”, (Whatever that means! Is it GMO?), between the varieties Gamaret ( a cross beween Gamay and Reichensteiner created in the 1970s) and Bronner (a cross between Merzling and a Zarya Severa x Sankt Laurent cross also created in the 1970s).

With the first commercial Divico wine being made this year and only three years of production at a research winery it is already being hailed as the potential replacement for Pinot Noir as the producer of “quality red wine”, in Britain. At present Britain only produces 5% of its wine as red wine and only a small portion of that is considered as “quality wine”.

Wow! That’s a big wrap for the “new kid on the block” that hasn’t even been commercially produced!

NEW, NEW WORLD: With Europe having branded Australia, New Zealand, etc., as “New World” winemakers, because we don’t have many hundreds of years of winemaking history – What should we be calling the raft of new winemaking countries such as England, Wales, Belgium and Holland? Should they be called “New, New World” or perhaps “Virtual World”? Because many, if not most of these new growers are making much of their wine from hybrid varieties especially created to deal with the cold (almost frozen) climate and/or the much higher incidence of moulds and fungal disease that exist in these more humid environments.

SO, sometime in the future our children (or, our children’s children) will be able to:

  • drink wine infused with all sorts of things as well as tea;
  • drink wine made from all sorts of hybrid varieties that we have never heard of (or don’t even exist yet) from places that until now hardly ever grew a grape,
  • and what’s more, drink Champagne made without Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, but rather from grapes that aren’t allowed to be used as of today.

I am not a “stick-in-the-mud”, old-world wine drinker who believes that you can only grow certain varieties in certain regions, but you have to wonder where the line will be drawn before it becomes just another beverage and stops being the majestic, magical substance we currently enjoy and call, wine.

Cheers and enjoy some great wines this week.

This Week's Wine Review:

I have mentioned and written about the wines of the Barossa’s Turkey Flat VINEYARDS a number of times in recent years, especially when their gorgeous 2016 Grenache, which I labelled as “Great, Galloping Grenache”, won the 2017 Jimmy Watson Trophy for the best 1-2-year-old red wine in Australia.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to taste their new releases and once again, I was impressed by the quality of the wines.

Starting with the Turkey Flat VINEYARDS 2018 Barossa Valley White: A very sophisticated blend of Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne. This wine has some complex, exciting aromas of pears and apricots. The palate is slick and silky with stacks of flavour and a classy, refreshing finish.

Next came the Turkey Flat VINEYARDS 2019 RosÉ (Grenache):  I am not a huge fan of Rosé, but this is eminently quaffable and very moreish – Say no more!!

Then the Turkey Flat VINEYARDS 2018 Mataro (a.k.a. as Monastrell or Mourvèdre): This wine has a bright purple colour, a delightful bouquet of red berries, spices and dried herbs. A gorgeous palate with some appealing savoury notes and tight, grippy finish. It will evolve smashingly over the next few years to become a Barossa classic.

Then came the two “Butchers Block” reds. Starting with the Turkey Flat 2018 Butchers Block GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro): It has a bouquet of vibrant red berries, herbs and a smidge of talc. The palate is bursting with superb, tasty, juicy flavours and finishes with a great, smooth, lingering finish. Outstanding!

The second Butchers Block wine was the Turkey Flat 2018 Butchers Block Shiraz: This one is “rearing to go” with a big, blousy bouquet of plums and dark fruit. The palate is gentle, silky smooth with just a hint of grippiness on the finish. Why wait? Enjoy it now while waiting for its Big Brother to round out.

The Turkey Flat VINEYARDS 2018 Grenache: One of my all-time faves! Unlike the “new style” Grenache that are (in my opinion) thin, green and pissy due to being picked early, this is a bloody brilliant Grenache with an attractive, slightly complex bouquet. It has a divine mouthful of delicious, big flavours, and a svelte, lingering finish. While not quite as statuesque as the JWT winning 2016, this wine for me, ranks amongst the very best Grenache wines made in Australia.

Finally, to cap off the tasting the Turkey Flat VINEYARDS 2017 Shiraz: Oh, Wow! What a cracker!! Deep and dense in colour, with rich, red fruit aromas, vanillin oak and a smidge of dried herbs on the bouquet. You get a BIG mouthful of flavour that explodes onto your palate and seduces the senses before finishing very tight and elegantly. This wine is excellent right now but will become even more sensational in a few years’ time.

Incidentally, the Turkey Flat VINEYARDS crew were recently chuffed when Australia’s largest wine storage company, Wine Ark, announced that the Turkey Flat VINEYARDS Shiraz was one of ‘Australia’s Top 50 Most Collected Wines’. This delightful wine was ranked as 31st out of the 50. No prizes for guessing what came first!!

So if you haven’t had a crack at the superb wines from Turkey Flat VINEYARDS as yet, “lift your game” and go to their website and check them out. Your palate will appreciate it! www.turkeyflat.com.au