Preservative Free Wines
As the mercury decides whether its going to rise, this week we focus on preservative (220, sulphur) free wines. It’s a robust topic with the natural brigade forming our alt-left counter weight to the the alt-right of commerciality. A good discussion, and unless you’re an asthmatic - the largest segment of drinkers that are allergic to SO2 - it’s very contentious. It’s also best not to forget that sulphur is natural in every way, so even organic and biodynamic wines can still have it. In Red Hill we simply seek great wines and these are two recent finds that we really like… and think you will too.
$31/bottle - $180/6pack - $325/dozen
Founded by three friends, Onannon is comprised of Mount Mary’s Sam Middleton and Kaspar Hermann, along with Stonier’s Will Byron (see what they did there?). It’s their fun side project that allows them to be creative and unshackled from their day job, which ironically is also to make great wine… this one’s just… different… less traditional, less “stick it in the cellar” more “slosh this with friends”. 100% whole bunch from our neck of the woods (Red Hill) with extended skin contact that adds a lovely pink hue, layers of flavour and texture, making this a great food wine. This is Pinot Grigio like they do in northern Italy - not the Sauvignon Blanc replacement, cheap tourist Venetian summer spewmanti - but the real reason this is regarded as one of the noble varieties of Italy’s Alto Adige and France.
Yangarra’s (and 2017 Winemaker of the year) Peter Fraser exudes quiet confidence. Yangarra’s owners had no idea Peter had converted the vineyard to Biodynamics - he’d done it on the sly. As they saw the quality of the wines go up, and gain elegance, freshness and balance were they finally told what Peter and his team had been doing for a few years. The wines are a revelation for any lover of elegance and finesse, and this Shiraz, coupled with the fact that there’s nothing added to it (including sulphur)… tastes and smells like vintage in a winery. And as winemakers, there’s nothing like the smell of vintage - pure, freshly crushed fruit beginning to transform. Simply delicious and juicy.
There’s nothing on earth quite like Piedmont. And because it’s Italy, of course it’s beautiful… magical really… with quaint villages on top of hills with the majesty of the Alps as a backdrop. And because it’s Italy, their wines can be as serious as a the grand fashion houses of Milan (Nebbiolo’s Barolo and Barbaresco) or as quaint and convivial as your favourite pair of jeans and soft cotton T. This is where Dolcetto comes in. Piedmont’s BBQ wine, think of it as Beaujolais, but more northern Italian (funny that) - just as fleshy but a bit more savoury, with fine tannins, making it ideal with food, or friends, or both… in T shirts and jeans.