Clean & Green

Friday, April 29, 2022

In a recent blog I was banging on about the meaninglessness of “clean” wine and how it is often used deceptively. Well it seems like I am not the only one concerned about it. The US Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB) has just jumped on the bandwagon.

Whilst not a legal ruling (at this stage) they have said of the term “clean wine”: “We would consider those claims to be misleading health-related statements.”  They go on to say: “consumers should not interpret the term as meaning that the beverage is organic or has met other production standards set by TTB”.

So at least in the USA people will have to stop using this misleading tag on their wines or at least be significantly more creative as to how they use it, or else face action from the TTB – which usually results in fines that have a lot of zero’s in them!!!

Hopefully authorities in Europe and here will follow suit and we can see the last of this corrupt marketing practice. So that those who make the effort to be Organic &/or Biodynamic aren’t tarred with the same shonky brush as these spivvy ad men.

VIVE Le NON-CLEAN WINE!!!:  We have all heard of Pac-Man – the game, but who has heard of Packamama?

Packamama is the new trading name for Garçon Wines – the clever chappies who came up with the flat/ovaloid plastic wine bottle that fits 10 bottles into a “normal” glass six pack box and that weights a gazzillion tonnes less, making them so much more environmentally friendly than ordinary glass bottles, plus the bottles are made out of recycled plastic!!

Yep, you have heard me bang on about Garçon a number of times over the last 2-3 years, because I believe that they have the future of wine packaging sewn up for all wines other than those destined for long, long term cellaring.

Well apart from the name change, the reason I am mentioning them today is that they have just added Moët Hennessy (the French luxury mob) to their rapidly growing list of customers. Moët Hennessy have just unveiled their Galoupet Nomade Côtes de Provence Rosé in the Packamama POP (prevented ocean plastic) flat bottle. A first for both Moët Hennessy and for Provence. In another first, it is the first plastic wine bottle to be silkscreen printed. The POP refers to the fact that the bottles are made from recycled plastic salvaged from the shoreline and waterways.

Château Galoupet is one of only 18 Cru Classé estates in Provence. They are in the process of positioning themselves as the most eco-friendly wine producer in the region. They have started converting to organic practices, converting to a carbon positive winery, promoting bio-diversity and bees in the vineyards. Thus making the use of the Packamama low carbon footprint bottle a further step in this ambitious plan.

By the way, the Nomade retails for £25 in bottle shops – so no “cheapie” here.

It is expected that the Packamama wine bottle will be launched in Australia fairly soon – hopefully before the end of the year.

I can’t wait for this brilliant concept to come into practice here.

Well please have a great week, stay safe, #chooseaustralianwine and where possible enjoy #emergingvarieties.  Cheers! Dan T

PS: This month the affable Glen Green is celebrating 20 years of his excellent online, Wine Industry Jobs. A service I used successfully a number of times over the years to find quality staff for my then clients.

The story of Wine Industry Jobs is interesting and can be found at the following links:

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This Week's Wine Review:

Today is “INTERNATIONAL VIOGNIER DAY” – an event started last year by Australia’s Viognier Masters, Yalumba Wines. It is a French native white variety that is mainly grown in the Côte Rôtie of the Rhône Valley where it produces distinctive wines. In the appellation of Condrieu it is the only white variety permitted. In Australia, Yalumba were the first to plant the variety in 1980 and have spearheaded the Viognier charge ever since.

As a variety, Viognier has an inherent gentleness/softness about it, yet it has a richness of texture with some balancing subtle tannins.

In preparation for today’s celebration, on Wednesday last week, Yalumba held a online tasting with Chief Winemaker, Louisa Rose, of all five of their Viognier wines and a couple of “ring-ins”.

The wines tasted were:

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2021 (multi region South Australia): A bouquet of apricots, orange, florals, a smidge of ginger and honeysuckle. Wild yeast fermented + lees aging add to the depth and complexity of this attractive wine.

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2021(mainly Riverland):  A blend of apricots, jasmine, ginger and florals on the complex bouquet. The palate has flavours of ripe apricots with a hint of almond meal and a degree of creaminess. Vibrant and youthful.

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2020: Strident aromas of ripe apricots, fresh ginger and daisies/white flowers. Uber-long and silky palate, great, rich texture, lovely flavours of peaches and apricots – quite opulent and refreshing. A great food wine.

Yalumba The Vigilius Eden Valley Viognier 2019: The pinnacle of the range. Pale yellow/gold with green hues, vibrant aromas of ripe apricots, ginger and a smidge of white pepper. Fabulous texture with a hint of minerality and savouriness. A keeper and a truly Classic Viognier.

Yalumba FSW Wrattonbully Botrytis Viognier 2020:  Light golden colour. Divine bouquet of dried apricots, honeysuckle with a splash of ginger and vanilla. Beautifully balanced sweetness with a delightful lingering finish. Oh Yum!!!

Langmeil Wines Three Gardens Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne 2021:  A very classy restrained wine with a delicate complex bouquet. Rich, round, elegant flavours with enough power and depth to match serious food – try it instead of a red with your steak!

E Guigal Côte du Rhône 2019:  Wow! Classic French in style and flavour (60% Viognier), subtle bouquet with a sniff of burnt matchstick, rich, round, sophisticated mouthful of flavour with just a hint of almond skin bitterness. A great, elegant, classy wine that goes brilliantly with food.

The outcome of this tasting was to demonstrate what an amazingly textural wine Viognier is, how well it pairs with most food, and how due to its natural acidity it can be treated more like a red wine than a delicate white in the winery with a degree of oxidative handling.


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