Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick! They're hatching!

Here's a message I just received from Sam Hughes, one of the Natural Selection Theory crew. It's about the imminent release of the egg-fermented semillon I wrote about here. It's self-explanatory, really - and a wild ride of a read:

'Testing 1,2 3!
To our friends, lovers, believers, sceptics, fall guys, fly girls, maitre d's, back of houses, he-men, sirens of thy song, the time has come for our en-primeur to come to a close.
Following a leisurely 4000k, 5 day drive through South East Australia, encountering rain fronts, snow drifts, floods, backburns, man sized 4wd spooning and many a beautiful soul, our quest is over.
We have the eggs, and we have impregnated them with a wild vinous child never before seen in our times, and we people, we are proud, damn it - proud and LOUD!
We are putting the final spit of polish to the accompanying 12inch album, and then after a small amount of rest in the eggs, the history of Australian wine shall change forever! No shit!
So as such, our
en-primeur will be closing this Sunday the 31st of October at midnight.
If you'd like to secure your piece of history, we need your payment details asap.
Prices will jump for your 3 pack from $250 to a rrp of around $500 at one minute past midnight monday the 1st of November, so blow us down like the gravity fed, unfiltered, unfined, wild yeast beast that we all would love to be!  There are only 53 sets of said collection produced - so first in, best dressed. Forget a fondue party, the semillon anti terroir terroir party is sure to be the hippest and most happening event on the foodies' social, nu-blog calendar, PERIOD!

After this we will release a one off blend of all 3 soil types and all 3 skin ratios at $250-$300 per 900ml egg plus the album, to be available in mid to late November, this time a limited run of 162 units. That's right, a blend of all 9 components dancing to the wild beat of a natural drum encased in a house the form of a phi ratio sphere - WOW! 
SO to be plainly boring, as stated before, the coming of the end of en-primeur is upon us. I repeat in frank freakness, THE END OF THE EN-PRIMEUR IS UPON US, as are soon the stagnant old ways of the Australian wine industry.
The coming of the egg brings in the birth of a new time, a new spirit, an alternate future to our day and age. This wine, your wine, is unlike any to come from this country before. She is natural, charming, multi faceted, textural and light - yet for a wine of such litheness, extremely serious, multi-lingual and concentrated.
Make no mistake - we are deadly serious about this - this wine represents a faultline in the history of Oz wine culture.
After this nothing shall be the same again. We put our names to this, as we do our reputations: Tom Shobbrook, 2010 Young Winemaker of the Year, Gourmet Traveller Wine; James Erskine, 2009 Sommelier of the Year, Gourmet Traveller; Anton van Klopper, the Godfather of Oz Vinous Grunge & Sam Hughes, your Voice and Keeper of the Eggs.
There are just a handful left of the 55 X 3 packs available, then just 162 bottles of blended benchmark old school new world white.
If you are keen, jump, for these are pure packages of beauty, intellect, spirit and playfulness.
We thank you for your interest and please remember this: times are a changing - help speed it up and be part of this beautiful moment in history.
Let's tie this up, then throw her out into the world beyond!
Till soon,
All at Natural Selection Theory.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Future Makers - an introduction

Here's the foreword from my new book, The Future Makers. It explains why I wrote the book and why I think you should read it:

Something like this ...
Photo: James Broadway
A few years ago, I very nearly opened my own bar. I had this vision of a small, cosy place, crammed with bottles, serving small plates of good food and great wines by the glass. I have also, for a long time, dreamed about planting my own vineyard – again, just a small plot of vines, enough for a few barrels. Thankfully, neither dream has come true: thankfully because I haven’t got a business-minded bone in my body and I don’t know how to drive a tractor, let alone fix one; the bar would have quickly gone bust and the vines would no doubt have died. I’m much better off sticking to drinking and writing about wine, I’ve decided, than trying to make it or sell it.

The point is that when you do contemplate crossing the line from interested observer to active participant you’re suddenly faced with a whole heap of important questions: Where would be the best place for my vineyard? What varieties would I plant? How would I grow my grapes and make my wine? Which wines would I serve in my own bar? And why would I want to go to all that effort when I can buy plenty of lovely wines already?

I soon realised that the answers to these questions came wrapped up in broader considerations, such as the effects of climate change, my aversion to chemically assisted farming and my unashamedly romantic belief that wine should taste of where it’s from. I realised that, if I had my own vineyard, it would be planted with varieties suited to a warmer, drier future; it would be farmed biodynamically; I would make the wines with as few additions and as little manipulation as possible; and I would hope to produce something beautiful, which told a story of its place and time.

I also realised that the wines I would want to sell in my mythical bar – the wines I already buy and drink – come from winemakers thinking along the same lines. Winemakers who ask themselves: What’s special about where I am? Have I planted the most appropriate varieties? Is this the best way to grow my grapes and make my wine? Why am I doing this?

These are the winemakers who interest and excite me: the ones asking why. Because they are making the most characterful, appropriate and delicious wines sensibly, sustainably and naturally. These people – the larrikins and ratbags, the old and the young, the newbies and the nerds – putting the soul back into Australian wine are the people you’ll meet in this book.