It’s always disappointing to me when a particular style of wine becomes fashionable and, therefore, ubiquitous. To me, it misses one of the key joys of wine, which is its infinite variety. I’ll never tell anyone what they ought to like, but when people talk of drinking only a particular style of wine, it smacks of posturing or willful ignorance, or perhaps both. I truly believe to get the most out of wine, one needs to explore a wide range of styles and learn to appreciate what they have to offer, even if some end up being preferred over others.
Given that little rant, it may seem contradictory of me to suggest that I’m no huge fan of the fairly recent vogue for alternate varietals in Australia. Maybe it’s unhelpfully conservative of me, but I believe we have well-established regional styles that, collectively, show great variety and distinction. And, were I given the choice, I’d prefer for those styles to be mined and elevated even further, rather than see our efforts spread far and wide in the search for the next great varietal sensation.
I therefore approach this wine with both curiosity and dread, hoping to find an unusual style and, at the same time, wondering if I wouldn’t be better off tucking into a great dry Riesling. After tasting it, I’m still not sure on either front; it’s nice try to a Barossa Vermentino for completeness’ sake at least, as I don’t believe I’ve ever had one before. It’s a clean-smelling wine, the aroma profile somewhat neutral but showing hints of honeysuckle, bubble gum and something much more interesting, akin to overripe fruit that has begun to spoil in its opulent fleshiness.
The palate carries this rather challenging note through, but what stands out most here is structure. This wine is all about zingy acid and the sort of lively mouthfeel that will go down well during summer. Palate weight is fuller than many aromatic whites, feeling closer to Semillon than Riesling. Flavour is quite generous on the middle palate, with good intensity and impact. The after palate and finish taper away elegantly, never losing their acid backbone and sense of freshness. An unusual wine, then, with some flavour components that I enjoyed for their angularity.
Yelland & Papps