(2021) Organically certified, this is Kim Crawford's estate, and the wine is given a 'hands-off' treatment, fermentation stopped at 12.5% abv when the wine was in balance, leaving 5.2g/l or residual sugar. There's a touch of pinky-bronze to the colour here, and a confectionary nose, all icing sugar and raspbery ripple. In the mouth the sweetness pushes through, with a sense of coolness to this, Asian pear and lemon, though for me it lacks the charm of the Pegasus Bay Riesling.
(2021) Organic, this is given a painstaking vinification: different portions fermented in a concrete egg, amphorae, and neutral old French oak barrels, all with wild yeast. Little bit of a deeper colour here, and a very different nose from those made with commercial yeasts. It's a tiny bit reductive/flinty, salt and apple rather than anything green or tropical. In the mouth the texture is an obvious difference too, more creaminess, some oatmeal and nutty apple. There is sweetness here (almost 7g/l of sugar) which frankly I could do without, but it has a tangy, sour lemon finish and that does work quite well so the final impression is the citrus character in a more complex take on Marlborough SB. A point or two off for being just too sweet.
(2021) An organic wine, but unusually, Loveblock use the antioxidant properties of green tea to protect this wine rather than sulphur: every time the juice / wine was exposed to oxygen 5 mg/L of green tea powder was added before the wine was racked to barrels. 6.10g/l of residual sugar. Very unusual on the nose. I guess it is the green tea giving this unusual, herbal, chamomile and, yes, gree tea notes. On the palate a substantial weight and loads of flavour. Again I can detect that unusual tea character, and again too much residual sugar for my palate. In the finish the dry tannin-like and umami quality of the tea against the sweet stone fruits, sugar and sour acid makes for a very unusual wine. Interesting, but I wouldn't want a second glass.
(2021) Fruit was run over a sorting table straight to the tank, without crushing, and fermentation commenced on its own yeast. Approximately 50% of this wine was aged in oak. Medium-pale garnet colour, not giving a lot on the nose, some plummy fruit comes through, a little briar, quite earthy, maybe just a hint of rose perfume. On the palate quite full, dark-fruited and a touch meaty, the tannin and acid profile here combine to give this a fresh edge, but sweet fruit and fleshy density persist. Medium finish.
(2021) 60% of this wine comes from 80-year-old vines, the rest 50-year-old. 75% feremented as whole buches and aged in neutral barrels and oak casks. Fragrant, creamy, lifted red fruit with a distinct floral edge. Some creamy, almondy touches. Red fruited but really firm and gravelly on the palate, taut structure and elegant but incisive acidity. Long.
(2021) From two vineyards, one 82 and one 99 years of age and planted on deep sand, 92% of fruit was destemmed, and aged in old puncheons and foudres. Again quite an intense, deep colour, but not dense, this has a solidity to the fruit too, more plummy and full, but once again that does not mean heavy or dense: the fine tannins and the good, tangy and sour cherry acid balance is excellent, in a big and mouth-filling wine, but not without finesse.
(2016) More pale gold than truly orange, Australian winemaker Martin Cooper is an admirer of Jura and natural wines, so has made this highly unusual Riesling with natural yeast, 30 days on skins and minimal sulphur. Its aromas are fresh and boldly appley, a hint of straw, a hint of nuttiness, but bright and expressive. In the mouth it is dry and again distinctive, with apple core and citrus pith dryness, but a fine sense of purity and of delicacy as the acidity extends the finish.
(2016) A fabulous, just off-dry Riesling, shimmering with zesty, tangy, lip-tingling freshness, the aromas of rosy red apple and delicate floral notes have that touch of beeswax again too, but then burst through on the palate with real tang, like a dawn shower in a cold mountain stream, though there is some nectarine sweetness and hints of fat juiciness too on the mid-palate, in a purely delightful wine.
(2015) 12% abv. Braucol is the main red wine grape of the Gaillac region of Southwest France, source also of this IGP Côtes-du-Tarn pink. The grape is more widely known as Fer Servadou in neighbouring regions. From vineyards with a bit of altitude. It has a notably different fragrance from many of the Provence wines here, a little 'sauvage' note in amongst the delicate berries but also a passion fruit hint of pungency. On the palate there is a juiciness to this orange, a limey, grapefruity zestiness and a mouth-watering finish.