I did not have chance to ask but I am suppose yeast have been inoculate but not malolactic fermentation.
Wine made for a sake of sustainability as said, “ I am not an Hippie, I drive a SUV, but I have a 5 years old son…” says Koen, “…and, if I can minimalize my impact on the world, eliminating any systemic and pollutant applied to my work, letting nature control more often, why do not do it!”
Natural wines have no legislation in Australia yet, and have started to be produced up to 10 years ago, so really a new thing in the country, which needs to be understood and communicated properly to the final customer in order to avoid misunderstandings. Why!?
As per my experience natural wines are a niche of the market, interesting for people that have experienced other stiles of wines and open to ‘explore”; but bit daunting for who, instead, is used to standardised wines and use wines as a form of alcohol mediator.
But let’s understand more what will you get in your tasting experience and what are the main differences from “not-natural” wines.
Let’s start with the cork… yes, this wine is under cork, no screw cap. Why? “Because the best wines on the world are under cork!” says Koen. “Maybe…!” I say. “…Quality is subjective!” was usually saying my marketing teacher. But what I find really attracting when I have a cork, apart than the cork itself, is the small bit of anticipation the cork gives to you in the opening process.
Almost like having a trailer of the wine, which gives to you so many information about the product in the bottle, therefore corks are my favourite closing system, because are making the game of opening a bottle of wine more intriguing, creating anticipation.
So, what the Sargent J, Grenache 2018 says to me? Let’s start the tasting
Cork: Ink, red dry flowers, chocolate, balsamic vinegar, no reduction, no defects. Which make me kind of happy… not for the lack of defects but for the lively and vibrant notes I can smell.
The colour… pouring it shows a normal consistency, not too dense not too liquid. Obviously this is a non-filtered wine so, as I am not, you shouldn’t not expect a clear transparent colour in the glass. Opaque is correct, which, if I would have to evaluate the wine as per normal standards is a defect. However I can still evaluate is look by the vivacity of the colour nail. Is it a lively bright colour or a tired opaque ones??? J
Lively brilliant ruby red in the glass, no purple no granate, a wine in its youth, the body in the arches (and the label on the bottle) calls to me a 13% of alcohol, surprisingly high for a natural wine, but let’s remember it is a wine from Barossa, the climate plays here.
Nose: Here we are at the fun part.
Chocolate, red flowers and cherry, sour cherry, red currants and wild strawberries, bit of alcohol with a hint of minerality which resembles anchovies to me. The wine keeps evolving in the glass for a bit and reaches its balance in a range of 20 minutes. Howerver I had the opportunity to, re-taste the wine one day after and it was still stable with no signs of oxidation.
A complex, fin nose with adequate length and representative of its look.
The final part:
Taste: This is where this wine shows all its differences in regard to “not-natural” wines.
At the palate the wine tend to move into the hard part of the spectrum with acidity, tannins and subtle minerality, in this order. Acidity reminds me a bit of a fresh currant juice, while tannins are still young but soft enough to be enjoyable, staying long on the palate. Alcohol, polyalcohol’s and sweetness are less preponderant, where the big missing is the polyalcohols coming from the ageing of the wine.
A medium full body wine, enough balanced and characteristic of its age and making, which has its main focus on the fruit and ready to be drank now.
Ageing time? It might increase its quality smoothing down harnesses in time, but really what is the point to make it age. A wine “painted” young, to be consumed at this stage and smell of the vineyard, not the cellar-door.
Intense wine with good finesse and harmonic in between its colour, smell and palate.
A wine to eat more than drink with the expectation to surprise for couple minutes and then acompaing you for the rest of the bottle with not presumption or need to be the centre of the discussion. A middle meal wine which has its strength in its digeribility, because this is the best part, the great thing of this wine and probably the most important thing you are looking at the end, in natural wines is something doesn’t make you sick if you drink bit too much of it, and doesn’t leave you with headaches for the day
A pleasurable journey thank you to Koen Janssen.