Tony Love's Bottle Stop

Some words from Tony Love on preservative free wines...

You've got to love it when a powerful trend develops that's all about what's left out of a wine. What's not in there.

In other realms it would be called "reverse engineering". In the wine world we read it as "minimalist" or "lo-fi" winemakers eschewing the use of oak for red wines, releasing them without the usual maturation time, and for a dedicated few, turning noble grapes to wine without any added preservative in the form of traditionally used, and proven safe, sulphur.

We recently mentioned here Temple Bruer's extraordinary 10-year-old Cabernet Merlot, which defies the impression that new season, PF (preservative free) wines are really only designed to be consumed within a year.

David continues that work with a new crop, a 2016 pinot noir from Eden Valley, a 2015 shiraz and the best of them a 2015 cabernet merlot that's fleshy with a subtle licorice note and the blend's typical tannin makeup that should help it develop for a good five more years.

Others follow now, increasingly so. From Kangaroo Island, a new brand from the Islander Estate, So Far So Good, has released PF whites and a 2016 shiraz with vibrant colour and fleshy, grape flavours.

The first out of the blocks this year was from the Barossa Valley, the Kalleske 2016 Zeitgeist. Created in stainless steel tank without any added sulphur dioxide or any non-grape additives and bottled in early May, it's a gutsy Barossa style, earthy, fleshy, with chewy tannins and distinctive licorice notes. Demand has grown so much that it's already almost all gone, though still available in some restaurants and independent stores.

Same goes for the two big players in this field: Battle of Bosworth 2016 Puritan Shiraz and Yangarra 2016 PF Shiraz, both from McLaren Vale, though somewhat different in style. The Puritan is more medium-bodied with a vibrant colour, and fresher fruitier flavours, a wonderful energy in the palate and tannin profile that supports the raspberry to blueberry profile. And, by the way, six previous vintages back to 2010 also show that this style of wine will last really well and, without any oak artifice, shows vintage variations incredibly clearly. The Yangarra PF is a much darker plum-fruited and denser shiraz with more palate impact from the natural grape tannins that give this wine a fair amount of full-bodied grip. Just from its primary impressions, it too should last several years.

Tony Love
SA Weekend Magazine - The Advertiser, p29
Published 24-25/09/2016

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