I love it when interesting new wines from unknown wineries (to me at least) turn up at the door. It’s like wine Christmas.
Brackenwood is a vineyard at Kuitpo in the Adelaide Hills owned by ex-somm Damon Nagel. Planted in the early noughties, the plot is farmed biodynamically, the wines made with minimal intervention by winemaker Daniel Zulolo (for whites) and Damon making the reds.
With colourful labels and a style that aims towards crunchy and vital, these are undoubtedly intriguing wines. Well priced too.
Brackenwood Vineyard Riesling 2017
A deliciously vital grapefruity style of Adelaide Hills Riesling, with a hint of celery, white pepper and lemon. It’s very sprightly but not harsh, with prominent grapefruit acidity and a slight nutty edge. Lots of life here, with this cascading waterfall of grapefruit flavour that is so refreshing. Perhaps a little lean, but the freshness and energy with intensity is just a delight. Very good. Best drinking: Now to eight years. But it will likely live for longer than that. 18/20, 93/100. 11.6%, $25. Would I buy it? Sure would.
Brackenwood Vineyard Syrah 2015
An Adelaide red of contrasts. It spends a considerable time in old oak, and the alcohol is noticeably warm. Yet there is still hints of mint amidst the cherry cola fruit. It’s polished, it’s juicy and there is a careful definition which is all class. If only the finish was a bit less alcoholic to match the rest of the wine. Best drinking: I’d wait a year or two then ten years easy. Best drinking: 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.3%. $30. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
Brackenwood Vineyard Gamay Pinot Noir 2017
A deliciously spicy Passetoutgrains style red that is all about crunchy fruit. Gumnuts, raspberry, stalky edges and a svelte, mouth-wateringly fresh, if slightly underpowered palate. It’s a simple vital red of pretty red fruit and a slightly herbal tang. Love the tang and the easy energy of this. Best drinking: Within 3 years. 17/20, 90/100. 12.9%, $25. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
Brackenwood Vineyard Rosso 2017
Fleshy and juicy unadorned fruity red coupling together Pinot, Shiraz and Barbera. It’s like strawberry and raspberry punch, a vin de soif for drinking with glacé cherries and this beautiful flow of fruit. It’s such a quaffable red, and with more structure than you expect to boot. Easy pleasure here. Best drinking: Now. 16.5/20, 88/100. 11.3%, $20. Would I buy it? A glass or two easy.