So this is what I’ve become….. the bloke I used to roll my eyes at when I first started to work in a wine store 20 years ago…. a bone fide wine geek.
My personal wine journey has had many twists….small independent retail stores, large independent retail stores, the chains, wholesaling, some time working in vineyards, many a vintage, time at a specialist wine auction house, some wine writing and now….working at a winery and living in the Eden Valley in South Australia….but here’s my thing.
I now find myself drawn to more “natural”, less manipulated wines…..natural….that term concerns me, but we’ll come back to that in a minute.
I am at a point in my own space/wine continuum, where I derive the most pleasure from wine, knowing that the vigneron isn’t trying to push a square peg into a round hole….let’s just say I consider it axiomatic that the best wines….and the wines I enjoy most….show a lighter hand in the cellar, greater purity of fruit from organic or biodynamic vineyard practises and on the whole, display balance, judicious oak use and alcohol levels that are lower than the norm.
Don’t get me wrong….a good wine is a good wine…no matter if it has seen acid additions, has been chapitalised, seen 300% new oak, blah, blah ad infinitum ….. I haven’t disappeared that far up my own wine obsessive arse…it’s just that I tend to gravitate towards the calmer, less percussive examples.
Back to the natural wine thing …. the whole natural wine moniker is fast becoming more a marketing catchphrase than a movement of authenticity and there are certainly a lot of pretty shit “natural” wines on the market….so let’s forget the term natural altogether….I’ll just call them authentic instead.
So that is what I will aim to talk about here….authentic wines that I enjoy drinking myself and ones that both remain true to the earth from which they spring and also to the winemakers ideals….that can’t be too hard can it?
Scoring….yeah I should mention scoring.
I won’t be doing that….I’ll be leaving that to other people…..I’ve done it before, didn’t feel comfortable with it then, so no numerals will follow the tasting notes at Vinofreakism….nix, nada.
Wine is just as capable of giving the imbiber an emotional rush as a great piece of music, art or film (or a great meal for that matter)…and applying a reductionalist score to the liquid seems ludicrous….if anything the reductionism should be in the prose and the numbers at the end will become superfluous. …so let’s aim for that.
Add in the fact that a…say….1978 Valentini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo will taste totally different if I am sitting on my porch by myself staring at the 400 year old gum-trees & listening to kookaburras, are enjoying it with friends over dinner or trying to reverse engineer it in my office while tapping away on my computer…..it just isn’t going to work…not for this little vinofreak.
So no 96 points, 17/20’s, five gold stars or smiley faces….just read the tasting note….and it won’t be all about tasting notes…I’ll try to feature some wineries, regions and events that I think may be of interest…so wish me luck…feel free to comment on the posts and I hope you enjoy my inane ramblings.