Whistler Barossa Valley Get In My Belly Grenache 2015
$35; 14% alcohol; cork
Grown organically (but not certified), foot-stomped, fermented wild, basket-pressed, left on old oak for six months and bottled without fining or filtration, this is about as close as the Marananga/Seppeltsfield/Greenock Creek region gets to Beaujolais. It’s NOT Beaujolais, of course (it’s too intense for Beaujolias), but it does remind me of a fuller-bodied one from Brouilly, with all that jammy black cherry, redcurrant and prune. It has had a dose of preservative sulphur, but winemaker Josh Pfeiffer claims this to be minimal.
After all that, its name seems to recommend rapid ingestion, but I’m afraid the x-ray image of a bottle resting in somebody’s pelvis reminds me of the Buzzard and Waxman paper A long standing, much travelled rectal foreign body which was published in the Medical Journal of Australia, June 30, 1979.
I won’t go any further into that, other than to suggest that this is a simple, approachable, pleasurable dry red that fits my easy drinking – not thinking – appellation. It’s great with bacon sandwiches and tomato sauce with some chilli. Or ordinary old mousetrap cheddar.
It’s pretty good, too, with a block of ice, a splash of soda and a bruised leaf of mint.
Battle of Bosworth McLaren Vale Puritan Shiraz 2015
$20; 14.5% alcohol; screw cap
Certified organically grown and bottled without preservative, this bottler Bozzy claims to be ‘traditionally vinified’.
It’s a deep thing to inhale, all moody and intense. Choo-Choo Bar aniseed and fresh soft blackstrap licorice come to mind as I sort through its darkness, looking for fruits to name. Maybe blackcurrant and blackberry show their hands, even some juice from your pickled kalamatas, but nothing’s simply obvious.
The wine is principally savoury, a word I use in its Oxford frame: “in contradistinction to sweet, as the epithet of articles of food having a stimulating taste or flavour”, with a shade of savory, the tarragon-like herb, Satureja hortensis.
In other words, it makes me hungry.
Like the Get In My Belly, it seems best suited to innocent and carefree snacky things, like fatty roast lamb sandwiches, hot and dribbly and fresh from the spit, in McLaren Flat or Apex Bakery crusty bread with lumps of Paris Creek butter.
Yangarra PF McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015
$25; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap
Certified organic and biodynamic, made without any additions whatsoever and bottled without fining, this is called PF because it’s preservative-free, but also partly because it’s made by Peter Fraser, my landlord.
Interestingly, it’s the most conventionally winey of the three, and lasts the best with the top off: I’ve been watching this bottle for three days and it’s not changed much.
Only those familiar with clean fresh Shiraz wine immediately out of ferment will understand my technical description, so let’s avoid that and just say this is a powerfully fresh, aromatic, almost grown-up late teens dry red wine that reminds me much of the Cab Mac wines Stephen Hickinbotham made in the early ’80s in Victoria. His Swan Hill Dolcetto version somehow rings the loudest bell.
Food? Like the above wines, its carefree atmosphere points at lunchtime casual fare, but the more I ponder it, the better I reckon it went with the amazing Malay version of the Spanish paella that Cheong Liew cooked for a lucky few down my way at the weekend. This contained the full array of crustaceans, bivalve molluscs and cephalods but with rice vermicelli in place of granular rice and lots of squid ink to give it blackness of flavour, aroma and spirit.
Assemble all three wines with a few mates and draw your own conclusions. But be quick: these makers will each have another vintage out within six months and the wines are designed for early consumption.
As the years progress, there will be more lovely innocent-looking wines like these.
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