May 2022 Wine of the Month Club

May 21, 2022

May 2022 Wine of the Month Club

The wine world is broken into two main categories; Old World and New World.  The phrase “Old World” connotes wines produced in countries with a long-established history of wine production – most notably, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal. “New World” wines are those produced outside the traditional winegrowing areas of Europe and the Middle East, in particular from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. For perspective, Italy and France have been making wine since the BC era (some say as far back as 4000 BC) while the U.S. and Argentina started in the 1500s, which make Australia one of the newest of the “New World” wine regions.


The country of Australia has no native grapes, and Vitis vinifera varieties were introduced from Europe and South Africa in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Vine cuttings were originally brought to New South Wales in Australia by Governor Phillip in 1788. These vines did not produce viable grapes, but other settlers persevered and ended up cultivating vines for winemaking. Australian wine became available domestically in the 1820s. In 1830 vineyards were established in the Hunter Valley, and in 1833 James Busby, the “father” of Australian winemaking, took a trip to France and Spain and brought back a vast selection of vine stock that would later thrive. By the late 1800s, several Australian wines were winning awards at prestigious International Exhibitions. Fast forward 100 years, and in the 1980s Australian wines started to get a reputation as being over-extracted, over-ripe, high alcohol gut busters. Then there’s the screw cap; Australian wine producers sought out screw caps as early as 1964 in order to avoid cork taint, but the public’s perception of screw caps being “low value” wines persisted. However, as we entered the new millennium, Australia’s wine production has really hit it’s stride (they are now 6th in the world in total wine production), offering a full range of wines for the world to enjoy.


On the old side of the “new world” winemaking in Australian is the Tyrrell family, who have been producing outstanding wines in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales since 1858. They now share the position of being the second oldest continuously owned and operated family winery in Australia. Handed down through four generations, the company is now managed by Bruce Tyrrell. He has had a broad range of involvement in the wine industry and is currently a Director of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association and the Hunter Valley Research Foundation. In 2006, Bruce Tyrrell was recognized with an Order of Australia medal for his contribution to the Australian wine industry; improving grape quality, research, tourism and export opportunities. Under Bruce Tyrrell’s management Tyrrell’s Wines will remain family owned and continue with the simple philosophy of striving to be one of Australia’s pre-eminent family owned wine companies, producing the highest quality wines possible at all levels. Bruce Tyrrell’s children Jane, John and Christopher all currently work in the business.

On the new “new world” side, we have Unico Zelo. In 2014, Brendan and Laura Carter founded Unico Zelo in Lobethal, in the Adelaide Hills area of South Australia. They fell in love with making wine in the most sustainable and non-impactful way possible. Team Unico is the realization of Australian Culture, with all of their products honoring the uniqueness and fragility of the land. Their goals are to be industry leaders in best practices of viticulture and winemaking in the Australian wine industry through lower water use in the vineyard and minimal intervention practices in the winery, and to elevate the global perception of Australian wine.

Cheers,

The PlumpJack Wine Team

Unico Zelo Fresh A.F. Nero d’Avola

Region / Country of Origin

Barmera, Riverland, Australia

About the winemakers:  Brendan and Laura  Carter are two people incredibly passionate about the soil and produce in Australia. Their intent is to showcase products to the rest of the world that embrace Australian native ingredients and pay homage to the indigenous custodianship who maintained the land for thousands of years. It is this passion that has driven them to start two wine labels, one that protects our farmers and another that protects our future. They've since taken these concepts and catapulted it into the horticultural realm - studying indigenous produce, it's beneficial effects on our land, and the stories it can tell through incredible colors, flavors, and textures. 

About the Winemaking:  Coming from vines with a minimum age of 8 years, this 70% Nero d'Avola, 30% Zibbibo is co-fermented 5 days on skins, then matured in stainless for 6 months. Unico Zelo is a certified B Corporation, dedicated to being held to the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

Tasting Notes:  The freshest, zippiest style of Red. The insane water-efficiency of this variety coupled with no additions in the vineyard or winery (save for a small component of SO2 at bottling) displays the potential for this variety to craft succulent, bright, juicy, fruity, aromatic and supremely refreshing wine. A touch of ancient vine Zibibbo lifts the aroma into supreme smashability.

Winemaker: Laura Carter

Price:  $27 bottle/$259.20 case

Suggested Food Pairing: 

BBQ Chicken wings

Salumi and cheese plate

Mushroom pizza

 

Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Semillon 2019

Region / Country of Origin: Hunter Valley, Australia

About the Winery: Established in 1858 by English immigrant Edward Tyrrell, Tyrrell’s Wines is one of Australia’s pre-eminent family-owned wine companies with vineyards extending from their historic home in the Hunter Valley to the Limestone Coast and Heathcote. Headed up by fourth generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, Tyrrell’s is home to some of Australia’s most awarded wines.

About the winemaking: The 2019 vintage in the Hunter Valley was a high quality year. Continued dry conditions meant crop levels were slightly lower than normal, although the fruit was in perfect condition. Sourced almost entirely from the HVD vineyard which is situated between two dry creek beds and features fine sandy soils over course river sands. The grapes were both hand picked and machine picked before gentle pressing and fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine then spent a few months on yeast lees to gain extra complexity and mouthfeel.

Tasting Notes: The wine has a lifted nose showing citrus freshness. The palate continues with fresh citrus and concentrated grapefruit flavors. The palate is light to medium bodied with a perfect balance of soft acid and fruit, with lemon, grapefruit, Bartlett pear and dried ginger on the finish. Lip-smackingly refreshing and low alcohol, this wine will make a great day drinker for your Memorial day festivities.

Winemaker: Andrew Spinaze, Mark Richardson, and Chris Tyrrell

Price: $23 bottle/ $248.40

Suggested Food Pairing: 

Shrimp and Red Pepper Salad

Cold seafood salad

Pasta Primavera

Sashimi

Fennell Salad

 




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