De Bortoli Windy Peak Nouveau Shiraz 2009 (King Valley, Vic)
$16, Screwcap, 13.5%
With more than a passing resemblance to George Duboeouf Beaujolais (intentional?), this latest release from De Bortoli again reinforces how much care and attention Steve Webber and his crew lavish upon their wines. For evidence, just have a read of how seriously this $15 (less on special) wine has been taken. (lifted straight from the De Bortoli website).
‘Vintage Conditions The King Valley had a warm, long growing season, finishing quite late. Perhaps the best season in 10 years. Heathcote’s was hot and early, but some interesting flavours resulted. The Yarra had bushfires, drought and heat but we managed to make a small parcle of 100% whole bunch Syrah, that would normally go to Reserve that was a nice fit for this blend.
All fruit is hand picked. Because we are making a delicate detailed style, the best sections of the blocks are picked to try to avoid any variation within a vineyard and we certainly keep away from any gum tree perimeters. Fruit is whole bunch fermented with a mixture of foot treading and carbonic maceration (untouched bunches fermenting and extracting under their own steam).’
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Reserve quality fruit, produced like a cru Beaujolais, put out at Nouveau prices.
Only at De Bortoli.
And the wine? Bright purple in colour, this smells like it has only just finished fermenting (which it theoretically has). The nose juicy, stinky & black peppered with berryliciousness that showcases the hand picked fruit & carbonic maceration. There is a slight dullness to the expressive nose, but I think that might just be some post bottling jitters that should sort themselves out with a few more months in bottle.
After the fun aromatics however, the palate has a surprisingly serious kink. The flavours are still berried & juicy and light bodied, but there is grit and power through the back end, countering the slight rubberiness of carbonic maceration with chewy ground pepper Shiraz tannin.
It’s this air of seriousness that turns what is billed as a light, quaffable dry red into a particularly impressive drink. The palate profile is still simple, the edges are just the teensiest bit harsh, and just a little more RS would probably have made for an even friendlier drink, however the style & the skill apparent here is admirable. Actually it’s more than just an admirable wine, it’s a very very good drink at a very good price.