VHS Chapter 1 Life 2017
Chapter 1: Life
Slankamena Bela sourced from a block (Barmera) about 5 kilometres from where my mum was born and spent the first few years of her life. (Literally in a caravan on the side of the road in Berri, Riverland, SA). My grandparents migrated to Australia in the mid 50's, from Greece, and grew Mandarins in the Sunraysia district of Victoria for almost half a century.
My decision to use Slanka Bela was essentially the fact that it's almost unheard of and a very unknown varietal in this country. Much the same as Australia was a completely foreign idea to my Yia yia and Pappou prior to them landing here on a ship. Slanka is also a very drought tolerant and all round resilient variety much in the same way that mandarins grow in warmer parts of the country.
The old man salt bush is an ode to the salt bush that lined the banks of the Murray where my grandparents farm was located. It too is an incredibly hardy and resilient plant and is a representation of the tumultuous life that my grand parents and mum lived. Humble but wholesome. The pineapple sage was a perfect choice for an infusion botanical as it bolsters the primary fruit as well as adding an interesting savoury sage component. Sage is used almost religiously in Greek Cooking. The wine is an incredible food match.
The wine as a whole represents my mum and her family and in so doing represents, in many ways, the start of my life.
Variety: Slankamanka Bela Pet Nat
Origin: Serbia. The Balkan States
Vineyard: Ricca Terra, Barmera
-100% whole bunch, partially handcrushed.
- After 48 hours stems were removed from ferment and dried for 2 weeks before being reintroduced into ferment.
- 2 months skin-contact
- Free run juice then gravity drained through a sieve containing Old Man Salt Bush, Nori, Pineapple Sage, and Passionfruit Marigold.
- Seasoned AP John American Oak smoked with dehydrated Pineapple Sage, Passion fruit Marigold and Applewood using Polyscience Smoking Gun
- Full MLF with battonage once a week on full solids.
- 3 month barrel maturation before racking to stainless.
- Dehydrated Salt bush, Passion fruit Marigold and Pineapple Sage vaporised and bubbled through finished wine, at 4 degrees, before bottling.
- 2 month bottle maturation before release.
There are a many more steps in the process but this is just a brief summary of vinification methods.
- Samuel Smith, Winemaker
Patrick Sullivan Baw Baw Fields 2017
Chardonnay component: 50% of blend. Picked from a very low yielding south facing slope. Fermented and aged in a ceramic egg. These eggs are made in the style of the Schauberger cosmic egg.
Pinot Gris component: Picked from small holidng on both the north and south facing sides of the vineyard. Barrel fermented in old Hogs Heads.
Gewurztraminer component: Picked on a super muggy day from our Neerim South Vineyard. Barrel fermented in old French Hogs Heads
Fresh as a new spring morning. Intense palate weight and bright peach and pineapple. The aroma seems to fance whilst in your mouth rather than punching out as the glass passes your nose. THis will age well though I’m sure it wont last. Certainly very moorish.
Patrick Sullivan Milstream 2017
Chardonnay hand picked and pressed into old French puncheons. Stored on gross lees for 10 months.
Totally enchanting. This wine has the strength of a Roman army with the touch of your fairy godmother. The juice and then into wine carries an emerald hue that eludes to its richness. Incredible balance with poise and interest.
Patrick Sullivan Meriz 2017
Chardonnay hand picked and pressed into old French puncheons
This has to be one of the most beautiful vineyards in Australia, cascading down a magical slope that faces mountains and clouds. Super intense and complex. You can almost feel the quartz trickle down your neck. A true beauty.
Patrick Sullivan Chardonnay 2017
Chardonnay component Wild Dog: 80% of blend. Picked from a very low yielding North facing slope. Fermented and aged in a cermaic egg. These eggs are made in the style of the Schauberger cosmic egg.
Chardonnay component (Neerim South): Picked in the last week of March. The vineyard appeared so sleepy most of the season then came to life in the last 3 weeks.
Like drinking clouds, light and fresh yet strong. The palate weight lets you know it is serious but the acidity gives the wine it’s energy. It runs and runs and you drink and drink.
VHS Chapter 2 Inflorescent Adolescent 2017
Chapter 2: Inflorescent Adolescent is the wine equivalent of the middle finger. It's a complete and utter rule-breaker in every sense of the word. This wine was designed around my childhood and adolescence (Inflourescent Adolescent). Inflourescent is a portmanteau of fluorescent and inflorescent. Both the growth of me physically and mentally.
Sauv Blanc has always, without a doubt, been my least favourite grape varietal. Not due to its varietal traits but more the way we have vinified it and essentially sterilised the fuck out of it. The Chapter 2 represents my insatiable appetite as a child, and still now haha, to question everything. To analyse the world vouyeristically and critique it from multiple perspectives. I was a human freak show growing up and much like this wine I think it was incredibly difficult to place me in a box or under a stereotype.
The cold smoking with tobacco was a decision to enhance some bloody orange primary fruit and hone a little more into that negroni profile that it was based upon.I am also a fucking chain smoker, as sad and unfortunate as that is.
This wine will no doubt polarise and piss people off probably more so than any other wine I have produced to date and that's incredibly exciting because it's what I am used to doing my whole life.
These wines were both made under pretty heavy circumstances this year when a lot was going on in my life. I think because of those circumstances the whole kitchen sink was thrown at all of my 2017's.
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard: Nairne, Adelaide Hills - Altitude: 330 metres
-100% whole bunch, 50% of stalks retained, sun dried and reintroduced during fermentation.
- Carbonically macerated
- Hand plunged twice daily
- 3 months on skins under high CO2
- Free Run drained off and filtered through Barossa Syrah skins to seasoned Tobacco Smoked Francois Freres French Oak Hogshead's
- Champion Ruby Tobacco Vapor then bubbled through wine
- 5 month barrel maturation took place on full solids with battonage occuring once per fortnight.
- After barrel maturation the wine was racked to stainless before being settled in stainless.
- Finished wine then infused with vapourised dehydrated quondong, strawberry gum, lemon myrtle and mountain pepper berry before being bottled.
Once again just a brief insight into vinification methods
- Samuel Smith, Winemaker
Patrick Sullivan Waterskin 2017
Names after the leather water pouch that was used in the middle ages. The wine is made to nourish.
Semillon: 50% of the blend. Picked and pressed straight to old barriques.
Sauvignon Blanc: 50% of the blend. 1 month of skins, whole cluster.
The wine swims. It’s saline and bright and tastes of the ocean breeze. Aromatic and crunchy, quite a complex creature. Bright fruit and punch but very savoury. Great balance.
Heavy Petting Pet Nat 2017
The Dark Side has become Heavy Pétting, it’s the same wine, albeit with a few tweaks to the style to make it more of a brother to the Astro Bunny.
2 tonnes of Nero d’Avola for this year’s Heavy Pétting were hand picked on the morning of Saturday 4th March 2017 by myself and a team of twenty Korean students working as seasonal pickers.
The majority went into Heavy Pétting, with a few hundred kilos going into the Astro Bunny for colour.
The fruit came from Ricca Terra Farms, Riverland, South Australia.
The fruit was put in a cold store overnight that is located on the vineyard, then driven down to the Barossa Valley the next morning.
The wine was made in Marco Cirillo’s winery in the Barossa Valley.
Heavy Pétting is 99% Nero d’Avola 1% Zibibbo.
The wine was was fermented in a 3000 litre open fermenter with 50% whole bunches.
Zero added sulphur, no other additions, no adjustments, just made from grapes.
The wine was put down a specialised sparkling bottling line at Lodestone winery at Mt Torrens in the Adelaide Hills on 06.04.17.
The aim with the 2017 Heavy Pétting was to keep the savoury. Lambrusco-like astringency that we’d achieved in the previous two year’s Dark Side, whilst pulling back a little on the bitterness and putting “a little bit more love in the glass”. In other words, making it fruitier, whilst still holding back from any hint of jammy confection, and making it more similar to the Astro Bunny in weight, texture, drinkability and fun-factor. This was achieved in three main ways
- the fruit was picked a little riper
- we used only 50% whole bunch not 100%
- we added some Zibbibo at the crusher to co-ferment with the Nero
The wine went to bottle with around 12 g/lt residual sugar.
The wine has fermented only partially dry in the bottle over the winter resulting in a pressure of around 1 to 1.5 bar, with approximately 6 g/lt of residual sugar remaining.
This may or may not ferment fully dry over the summer, the truth is we don't know for sure.
The wines vital statistics are
sugar approx 6.0 g/lt
free S02 2.00 mg/lt
titratable acidity 6.3 g/lt
150 dozen made
- Tim Wildman
Alessandro Viola Note Di Grillo 2016
An absolute stunner from Sicilian biodynamic producer Alessandro Viola. Perfectly suited to the warm climate of Sicily, and us here down under, Grillo produces some fantastic, crisp wines to sit right alongside fresh seafood dishes.
Light in body with fantastic complexity, an array of stone fruit aromas bounce from the glass such as peach and nectarine. The palate is honeyed, carrying the white fruit flavours with fantastic mouthfeel, light chamomile and white flowers shine through.
The ideal warm weather wine that forevers tempts for another bottle.
Fabio Gea Pinotto Dolcetto 2016
Fabio Gea takes his winemaking passion and skill from his grandfather, who was any expert in the vineyard, working with several native Italian grape varities. His production is limited to only ever about 5000 bottles a year so that he can handcraft everything with only very minimal amounts of sulpur added.
This Dolcetto d'Alba is a testament to his biodynamic winemaking expertise. The aromas are abundant with rich dark fruits and fresh herbs reminiscent of the naturally grown vineyard. The acidity is lessened, leading to fantastic, rich plum and cassis on the palate with baking spices and sublte tannins.
A fantastic food wine overall ideally paired with classic Italian dishes such as pasta and risotto.
Fabio Gea Back Grin Grignolino 2016
Grignolino isn't a grape we see to often. Grown in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, this red grape produces red wines light in colour and rose.
The biodynamic practices in the production of this wine by the talented Fabio Gea create such a vibrant, soft wine with incredibly balanced acidity and tannin.
Where Grignolino can produce wines with intense tannins and high acid, this wine is serious yet approachable in style with delicious rose petal characteristics and rich ripe cherry supported by a long finish.
Deliciously, drinkable young with serious potential to age as well.
Architects Of Wine Vini Misti 2017
An exciting blend of Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, Moscato Giallo, Riesling, and Nebbiolo. Deliciously light and fruit forward with strawberry and savoury cherry skin aromas up front. The rose petal notes of the Nebbiolo are noticeable with the zesty acidity of the Riesling keeping fantastic structure in the wine and Dolcetto providing great fruit characteristics.
Would be perfect enjoyed lightly chilled down in the sun. Definitely a fun that is incredibly easy to drink.