While varietal brethren, Barossan Semillon makes for a welcome stylistic diversion from the tightly furled, lighter weighted iterations of the Hunter. Here, ambient fermentation in a concrete tulip with a seasoning of skins, along with a cooler tank-fermented parcel, serve up a textural opus that draws riffs of candied lemon rind, greengage, ginger spice, sourdough, camomile, honey and jasmine across a carriage of detailed phenolic rails and briny, succulent acidity. Fine sappy length, too. As Mike Bennie notes over at the Wine Front, ‘…compelling wine to drink.’
There’s a lot going on at Alkina, notably some very good organic-biodynamic farming, but also a lot of considered winemaking. This one needs a bit of explanation, “There were two ferments this year: one larger ferment in concrete tulip with 5% whole berries and 5% whole bunches; the second on full skins in stainless steel. Both fermented naturally and the concrete tulip was drained off skins after fermentation finished. The juice portion rested on lees in concrete and the skins portion on skins in tank for 3 months. The skins component ultimately made up 10% of the final blend”. Ok! Lots happening. A complex wine emerges.
Succulent, medium weight white with skinsy chew, great freshness, good gingery spice elements, a lot of honey-lemon-bergamot tea going on too. Wonderful ginger-lemon tea perfume too. Delicious. A lot of width and depth here, it feels like a white keen to go now rather than hang around in cellar. I found this a pretty compelling wine to drink.
94 points, The Wine Front (September 2021)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.