I like feedback. Even negative feedback is useful if it’s not abusive. So if ever you agree/disagree/take issue with something I’ve written, email me and let’s chat about it. Or just to talk bullshit about wine. Email me. Especially if you’re a winemaker.
Stuart Dudine from Alkimi did just that after taking umbrage at some of the vintage comments in this series. His point is that vintage generalisations can stigmatise a whole harvest (hello 2011) and drag down unaffected producers in the process. As Stuart mentions, the 2020 harvest in the Yarra Valley looks great – moderate to average yield, with picking tending slightly later than normal.
In other words, promising conditions. Quite a contrast to say, Canberra, with vignerons copping 100mm of rain in one ridiculous hit over the weekend. For some producers it was the final straw for any hope of a crop, with the combo of drought, smoke and now floods killing vintage before it has begun.
Again, it won’t be for all Canberra winemakers. Just like 2020 won’t be a complete write-off even in the smoke taint hit Hunter Valley. But hey, who’d want to grow grapes?
Meanwhile, Stuart sent through a few of his new releases (plus an Alkimi stubby holder) which I’ve just started looking at. This week the Alkimi Grenache 2018 ended up on the bench and I like…
From the Humis vineyard in Heathcote, it’s a sprightly, vital Grenache in a welcome modern mode. Made from fruit split into 3 batches with varying levels of whole bunches, whole berries and time on skins, it’s light coloured, tangy and raspberry-laden. You could close your eyes and imagine it’s Yarra Nebbiolo, except the raspberry fruit is all Grenache (and those aren’t Nebbiolo tannins). Speaking of tannins, this has no shortage of tannic grip, which means you wouldn’t call it an easy wine. But the raspberry tang and the mid palate sweet fruit make this quite appealing.
Unconventional, sure, but the interest factor is high. Well worth a glass or two for drinking over the next few years. 13.7%, $32. 17.7/20, 92/100