Tim Wildman
The Pursuit of FreshnessAustralian Mixed Case

£160.00

Tim Wildman, The Pursuit of Freshness, Australian Mixed Case

Tim Wildman
The Pursuit of FreshnessAustralian Mixed Case

£160.00

Limited Edition - Only 50 Cases Available

Master of Wine and winemaker Tim Wildman's love affair with Australian wine began in the late 2000s after visiting as a buyer for a major UK importer.

For Tim the progress of the last twenty years can be understood when looked at through the lens of drinkability. A combination of vineyard, winemaking and variety, plus the people making those decisions have moved the dial to a fresher, more drinkable Australian wine scene.

Tim's picked some of his favourite producers who showcase this delicious pursuit of freshness. Read Tim's article for more about the evolution of Aussie wine.

 

The Wines

Empire of Dirt, Sauvignon Blanc, 2019

Timo Mayer, the man, the legend, the guy who gives you a shot of schnapps at 10am! I’ve heard it said - controversially - that Sauvignon Blanc, not Chardonnay, is the great white grape variety of the Yarra Valley. This father-son collaboration nods more towards Europe then New Zealand in style, but is also uniquely, wonderfully Timo. Controversial? You decide. Delicious, no doubt!

Luke Lambert, Chardonnay, 2018

Forget Old World vs New World, welcome to Luke World. From an east facing vineyard in the cool Upper Yarra Valley, the most sought after location for Chardonnay, all woven together with a magic touch. I’ve said before that Luke Lambert is the most talented winemaker of his generation in Australia, but he’s also one of the most humble and quietly spoken. If you visit his tiny winery, where the drum kit sits in the middle of the barrels, he’ll just hand you a beer, pick up his sticks and let the wine do the talking.

Dune, The Empty Quarter, 2017

There’s a seismic shift happening in the landscape of Aussie red wine, and the epicentre is McLaren Vale. That shift is to fresh, light reds; wines that are medium bodied, quaffable, unburdened by heavy alcohol or new oak, where the fruit sings, often best slightly chilled, in the local parlance, smashable. Duncan and Peter Lloyd have nailed it with this Mediterranean blend from their beach sand vineyard in the higher, cooler back blocks of McLaren Vale. I call this style “thinky-drinky” - very easy to quaff, but if you choose to pause and look closer there’s complexity and detail as well.

Frederik Stevenson, Montepulciano, 2017

Italian grape varieties continue to gain popularity in Australia, and you can see why with this spicy, crunchy example from Steve Crawford of Fredrick Stevenson wines. Not only are these varieties climatically suited to the hotter regions of Australia, meaning they use less water and are more tolerant to heat and drought, they also hold their natural acidity, giving fresher, brighter wines. These are exactly the kind of wines that suit the Aussie lifestyle, fresh, chillable, versatile with seafood and Asian influenced cuisine. They also perfect examples of the contemporary approach to red wine in Australia and the move away from blockbusters styles; they are wines of expression not impression.

Timo Mayer, Doktor Pinot Noir, 2018

Timo’s website is more of a one page statement of intent, and hasn’t changed in ten years, "We don’t do back labels or barcodes - bring back the funk!” If you believe it’s possible for one bottle of wine to change a person’s attitude towards a whole country, then this Pinot Noir could be that bottle. Pinot Noir isn't referred to as the holy grail of winemaking for nothing; great Pinot is scarce, expensive and sometimes crushingly disappointing. Not so Timo’s which can stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s great Pinots; exuberantly aromatic, exotically flavoured, hedonistically textured - pure Pinosity!

Ochota Barrels, I am the Owl Syrah, 2018

When the Australias use the French term “Syrah” instead of the more usual Australian “Shiraz” they are trying to tell you something. That something is a nod and a wink to the fact that this wine is doing something a little different to the more stereotypical Aussie fruit bomb. In this case it’s all about freshness and drinkability; fruit from a high altitude vineyard, picked early to retain natural acidity freshness and “crunch”, with wild ferment and no new oak whatsoever. The result is a wine all about charm and gentleness, a wine that makes you feel all is good in the world and makes you want to smile, much like it’s much missed maker, the incomparable Taras Ochota.