One of the most exciting things about making wine in Australia is there are no strict rules. Unlike France, where the regional regulations are set, Australian winemakers have the flexibility to craft wines to suit changing tastes, trends and vintage conditions.
At the forefront of our wine evolution is Australia’s First Families of Wine. Made up of 11 of the country’s oldest and most revered family-owned, multi-generational wineries, this pre-eminent group boasts 48 generations of winemaking experience!
Together, Australia’s First Families of Wine have started a ‘Redvolution’ – putting a fresh spin on our favourite red varieties. To celebrate their exciting contribution to the evolving red wine landscape, Wine Selectors asked them to present a wine that represents their take on innovation and how they are driving the future of red wine in Australia.
A blend reborn
In terms of breathing new life into a style from the past, Tyrrell’s in the Hunter Valley chose their 2018 Shiraz Pinot Noir for the Redvolution, which Bruce Tyrrell describes, “Is a second coming of the Maurice O’Shea Hunter Valley ‘Light Dry Red’ style and I am pleased to see more and more of our region’s winemakers making this blend again.”
While this gorgeous blend practically disappeared in the late 1980s, the Tyrrell family recognise that today’s wine-lovers, “are looking for more medium bodied, finer, fresher red wine styles. Ones that are easier to drink and with lower alcohol levels and acidity rather than tannin on the finish.”
And as Bruce Tyrrell explains, “[The 2018 Shiraz Pinot Noir] was made with this style in mind. It’s a wine that’s really easy and enjoyable to drink, with loads of fruit and softness in perfect harmony.”
Expanding varietal horizons
Brown Brothers have also recognised the trend towards more medium-bodied reds, which is why they’ve chosen to champion Malbec, a variety they traditionally used in blends.
What sets their Limited Release Malbec 2018 apart from Shiraz and Cabernet, which can often have overpowering characters, is its lovely red fruit flavours. Plus, the terroir of Brown Brothers’ Heathcote vineyard, with its red soils, warm days and cool nights brings an element of white pepper and spice to this wine.
“It’s great fun making wines that you love to drink and Malbec is one of these – it’s so versatile with food and can complement so many diverse flavours,” explains Katherine Brown, fourth generation family winemaker.
“It is the perfect barbecue wine,” she adds, “as it matches very well with red meats and chargrilled vegetables. It also has boldness with its lingering spice finish, so it can be the perfect partner to an aged cheddar at the end of a meal.”
Everything old is new again
d’Arenberg’s fourth generation family winemaker, Chester Osborn and his forbears have always embraced experimentation in the winery and the d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache 2016 is, he describes, “Like a story book, documenting the different practices developed over time.”
Since they started making this blend in the 1950s, the changes in winemaking at d’Arenberg have been many. Machine harvesting has sped up picking, so when there’s a heatwave, the grapes are no longer sitting on the vines getting overripe, the crushers have become more gentle, meaning more skin extraction and less seed and stalk influence, and since they stopped fertilising in the 1980s, and introduced organic and biodynamic practices, the terroir expression has become more pronounced.
And, Chester adds, “We introduced foot treading 20 years ago. Whilst this is an age-old technique in winemaking, most producers do not foot tread as it is time consuming and costly, so we have been innovative in a sense of going back to traditional, age-old techniques.”
These three wines are just a quick introduction to the Australia’s First Families of Wine Redvolution – there’s more to explore from Campbell’s, Henschke, Howard Park, Jim Barry, McWilliam’s, Tahbilk, Taylors and Yalumba.
Be Part of the Redvolution!
This exclusive dozen featuring a red wine from each of the families is yours to enjoy today!
From new to emerging and tradition with a twist, this exciting line-up celebrates the leading role Australia’s First Families play in innovation and driving the future of red wine.
The Redvolution line-up comes in bespoke packaging and every dozen includes a tasting note booklet revealing the story behind every wine.
Click here to order today!