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Ben Haines is on a mission to showcase "magic dirt" from around Yarra Valley, Australia, particularly focusing on vineyards with Rhone varietals. This Marsanne is from the Warramumba Vineyard made up of clay, sandstone, and mudstone. The soil really comes through on the nose with this wine, and certainly on the palate with its mineral texture. The wine goes through a long fermentation and then aged in 10% new oak, the rest in neutral barrels, with 14 months on the lees. It only goes through 10% malolactic which allows this Marsanne to maintain a good amount of acidity to balance the rich, mouth-coating texture. This is a great pairing for roast poultry or creamy pasta dishes, and it does well with some time in a decanter to let it open up. Michelle DeWyngaert
Sourced from three plots of 40-year-old Grenache vines in Maclaren Vale and Clarendon, this wine speaks highly of the ironstone and clay soils of the Hills. There is a touch of CO2 added at bottling for preservation, but otherwise there is nothing added or taken away for this juice. The nose is perfectly ripe red cherry and currants, a woodsy tree-bark quality, owed largely to the whole-cluster fermentation, and you can truly smell the iron and clay from these three vineyard sites. The palate is bright and approachable with powdery tannins that evoke the silky clay through the finish. Medium bodied and juicy, this will be a great pairing for leaner pork dishes or a spicy, simmered curry! Michelle DeWyngaert
The Tidal is a truly compelling blend from Australian winemaker, Limus. This vintage is ~60% Pinot Noir from Mount Gambier, and ~40% Merlot from Mount Compass. The combination of these coastal vineyards and the volcanic and glacial, sandy soils, results in a unique expression of brininess from the ocean breezes, and a deep, black, rocky minerality. The Merlot adds body and depth to the freshness of the Pinot Noir and an intensely long finish. The wine is fermented in aged in neutral barrels before blending and bottling with no additives, including sulfur. The salinity of this wine makes me want to grill up some swordfish steaks, or throw a curveball and pair it with some briny oysters. Michelle DeWyngaert
It's clear just by looking at the labels for The Other Right that these winemakers strive to make fun, enjoyable wines that are full of life. The Bright Young Pink is an exuberant expression of Pinot Noir as a pet-nat. Sourced from organically farmed vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, fermented with no SO2 or any additives, then bottled unfined and unfiltered giving it the appearance of an effervescent pink cloud in the glass. Full of fresh and tart pink grapefruit notes, a bit of candied red cherry, and just a touch savory and bitter notes on the finish to round it out. Supremely juicy, and bright, as the name would suggest. A perfect aperitif! Michelle DeWyngaert
Extended skin-contact does not always improve a white wine, despite how popular "orange" wines are these days, but in this case, it definitely enhanced all of the beautiful aromatics of Viognier! Sourced from organically farmed vineyards in the Adelaide hills, hand-harvested and then spent 2 weeks macerating before aging in neutral oak barrels to soften the tannins in the wine. Nothing added or taken away so that the grapes can really shine (hence the name, Sunshine on my Skin)! A gorgeous coppery, golden color with notes of fresh jasmine, lemon oil, and a bit of pine. The rich texture of this wine makes it a great pairing for creamy pasta dishes or fresh goat cheeses. Michelle DeWyngaert