Simply Sunshine White 2009

From my perspective, this is a curio: an inexpensive white wine made for the German market. I was sent samples by the apparently indefatigable Leigh Gilligan, whose various ventures enjoy strong distribution, and seem to resonate strongly, in Germany. The interest for me, apart from the wine itself, is the marketing approach, which draws explicitly on Australia’s reputation for “sunshine in a bottle” wine styles. While this approach is now hotly contested in the local industry, there’s no doubt Australian wine is known in export markets largely for this type of wine, so if nothing else I’m eager to taste wines with a claim to representing the style and, hence, a certain face of the industry.

The interest in terms of what’s in the bottle relates to a particular concept of wine at this price point, something Chris recently touched on. He described a certain kind of wine as “fermented grape juice beverage product;” drinks that are technically wine but stylistically about as far as you can get from the generally accepted definition. Of course, I’m applying a massive, snobby value judgement to this description, even though I have no desire or ability to argue with the enjoyment many gain from imbibing [yellow tail]. Then again, what I do have is a desire for authenticity at all price points, and I believe well-priced wine does not need to taste like an industrial, wine-flavoured beverage.
I’m vindicated in this belief by this wine, at least. It’s not a secret Grange by any means, but it looks, smells and taste like real wine. It’s easygoing, with bubblegum florals, a bit of sharp citrus and sweeter, rounder fruit that oddly reminds me of Lipton’s peach iced tea.  There are no varieties listed on the bottle, and from the aroma profile I thought there was some Rhone action in there, but no, it’s mostly Chardonnay with a splash of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The palate is soft and cuddly. More peach tea, a hint of crisper florals and, well, not a lot else. So complexity isn’t a high point, nor is it the aim I should imagine. Rather, this wine delivers generosity, a round mouthfeel of satisfying viscosity and perhaps just a hint of residual sugar to help it go down. It’s a bit low in acid, which translates to a somewhat clumsy progression through the mouth, if not outright flab. But it’s hard to argue with the tasty flavour profile here. 
Great barbeque wine. Nicely done.

Simply Sunshine
Price: €5.45
Closure: Stelvin

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