Lunch with Brendon and Kirstyn of BK Wines, Adelaide Hills, Australia


Lunch with Brendon and Kirstyn of BK Wines, Adelaide Hills, Australia

Brendon Keys, BK Wines
Brendon Keys, BK Wines

I met with Brendon and Kirstyn Keys, the B and K in BK Wines over lunch at the Harwood Arms. They had new releases in tow. They are in the process of building a winery right now.

Brendon has been working with concrete eggs. ‘I like what oak does to the fermentation, but you always get some oak flavour out,’ he says. ‘We purchased an egg and it has done what we want to do. You still get the purity of the wine but you get fullness, richness and roundness.’ He’s tried both the Nomblot (France) and Sonoma Cast Stone (California). The latter he says is better looking but he gets similar, but slightly different results from both.

Brendon has recently started bottling in December for some of the wines. ‘2015 was the first year I’ve bottled in December,’ he explains. ‘Wines that go through a summer in the winery always need more SO2. They displace CO2 and when they cool down they take up oxygen and display aldehyde. This way we get to bottle with better free to total SO2 ratio. I’m not anti-SO2, but there’s a lot of lazy SO2 use in wineries.’

bk wines

BK Wines relies on growers. ‘I have five growers and I love them all,’ says Brendon. ‘So many growers are downtrodden. They have been beaten up by large companies, so they are no longer open to new ideas. I use the same growers every year so they know what we are about.’

We began with their Pet Nat, which is a wine whose demand they simply can’t keep up with.

BK Wines Pet Nat 2016 Adelaide Hills, Australia
‘It’s kind of cross your fingers a little bit,’ says Brendon, concerning making Pet Nat, which requires bottling the wine while it’s still fermenting. It’s textured and lively with some sweetness. Nicely complex too. 90/100

BK Wines Ovum Pinot Gris 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia
This is made in a concrete egg, and its one of the autumn releases. Bit of press wine. Textured with nice weight and fine pear fruit. Lively with some fine spiciness. Very attractive. 92/100

BK Wines One Ball Chardonnay 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Fresh, tight and lemony with some pear notes. Subtle with a bit of apple. Textural with lovely mineral hints. Very pure and attractive. 93/100

BK Wines Swaby Chardonnay 2013 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Bernie Swaby is a grower. Very mineral and taut with lovely apple and pear fruit, as well as fine citrus. Generous with an appealing mineral, reductive core. Delicious. 95/100

BK Wines Skin ‘n’ Bones Pinot Noir 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Beautifully aromatic with fine red cherries. Textural and juicy with a bit of meatiness. Elegant, fine floral aromatics. Good acidity. Fine and expressive with some herbal notes. 94/10

BK Wines Gower Pinot Noir 2014 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Beautifully aromatic and textural with fine sappy notes and sweet cherries and plums. This wine has lovely density with a core of rich but balanced fruit and a lively, juicy finish. Tight and delicious. 95/100

BK Wines Cult Syrah 2013 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Deep coloured and brooding with rich black cherry and blackberry fruit. Lovely richness and intensity. Brooding, powerful, vivid and floral. Rich yet fresh. 93/100

BK Wines Mazi Syrah 2013 McLaren Vale, Australia
From Blewett Springs. 100% whole bunch. Fresh and lively with some meaty black cherries and blackberries. Sweet, a bit spicy and vivid with some peppery notes. Rich but balanced. Lovely. 93/100

BK Wines Springs Hill 2015 McLaren Vale, Australia
70% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, 10% Grenache. 100% whole bunch. Amazing perfumed black fruits. Peppery and a bit reductive. Spicy, lively palate with a bit of CO2. Intense, meaty and floral with so many layers. Juicy, distinctive and fresh. 95/100

UK agent is SWIG

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See also: New Releases from BK Wines tasted in Australia in July

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