I like it when wines surprise me, whether it’s a matter of quality or, as with this wine, by showing unexpected dimensions that lift it beyond what I initially believe it to be. This wine, from relatively old vines in the Orange region, is one of two produced by Bloodwood. The other, labelled Schubert, seems intended to be the more outré in style (I’ve not tasted it).
Orange tends to cool climate due to the elevation of its vineyards, so it’s no surprise the aroma here is in a fairly restrained mode, with white rather than yellow stonefruit and aromas tending towards taut flintiness. It’s firmly fruit-driven, though, and quite straightforward as a result.
The palate is what surprises me about this wine. On the basis of the nose, I expected a straightforward flavour profile and equally simple mouthfeel, but this really takes off, texturally. On entry, it slips and slides with stonefruit, but from the mid-palate onwards a nice, raspy mouthfeel creeps in, along with a corresponding tightening of flavour profile, such that the wine ends up expressing tangy aniseed and a sea spray freshness alongside its bright fruit. That salty-sweet tang echoes the addictive qualities of something like Dutch licorice and strikes me quite distinctive. It’s a nice story on the palate and helps this wine to be both more refreshing and more delicious.