The organic wine movement (not unlike the musical scene) can be said to have two extremes: one comformist/opportunistic approach that seeks to meet the demand of growing consumer groups and to obtain the certificates, and the punks who wants to rock the establishment. There is, as always, a way in the middle too. Here we are in an artistic landscape that borrows from punk, call it neo- or post punk, but Some Young Punks follow the rules, and they behave. So there is no anarchy in Australia, though they don’t care about the stamps of official recognition either.
I have tasted many of their wines over the last months. They have all real character, marked by the hot Australian climate, but why shouldn’t they? Many of us want the wines to express local landscape and weather conditions, so these wines should not be burgundies. But they have also moved away from our Australian cliché: over-extracted, over-oaked, and generally boring wines in appealing packages.
Nic Bourke, Col McBryde and Jen Gardner are the Punks’ names. Their focus is in the vineyards, and they want their old vines, many of them pre-phylloxera, to be used in personal quality wines in-stead of ending up in the big players’ blends. In 2005 their first vintages of «Passion has red lips» and «Naked on roller skates» were released, then followed wine titles like «Quickie», «Monsters, Monsters attack!» and «The Squid’s Fist», all with labels inspired by old cartoons and paperbacks.
This passion-wine is made at Nic’s winery in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide, South Australia. They use natural yeasts, quite long maceration with skins, short oakageing, and many vineyards are treated biodynamic, not by religious conviction, but because they see that it works.
Passion has Red Lips 2013 (Some Young Punks), McLaren Vale, South Australia
Shiraz 76%, cabernet sauvignon 24%.
Dark, deep purple. Warm, almost jammy fruit, with dark berries, spice and some balsamic «after eight». A rich, silky texture, nice acidity.
Food: Excellent with grilled meat, roasts and casserole dishes.
A PS from the Punks themselves: -Turn, splash and savour. Unfiltered confessions follow as the sin glows red and passionate like those lips.