Yes, there were a lot of highlights at Rootstock. It feels entirely unfair to pick out individual wines or producers. After all I didn’t taste everything, despite my best intentions. And I’d have to write dozens of blog posts to give all the interesting wines justice. Despite these reservations, I will share some more of the highlights. I focused on the Australian and New Zealand producers present, simply because I’ll get more chance to taste the European wines shown here at the RAW and Real Wine Fairs next spring.
Iwo Jakimowicz and Sarah Morris (above) are Si Vintners, based in Margaret River. Their Margaret River wines are superb, and they’ve added to this a project called Casa de Si, which is based in Calatayud in Spain, where they have bought some old vineyards. Look out for the Florecita 2014, which is a stunning elegant Grenache-dominated field blend from a remarkable old vineyard
Matthew Rorick isn’t your typical Californian winemaker. His Folorn hope wines involve varieties long-established but forgotten, such as Verdelho, Vermentino, Green Hungarian, Semillon and Trousseau Gris. The Grenache below is from limestone, and it’s just so pale and fragrant.
Amber and Taras’ Ochota barrels wines are just stunning. Everything is good here, but the trio of Fugazi, Sense of Compression and I am the Owl were just other-worldly.
Winner of best beard competition? Jarad Curwood’s Chapter Wines are surprising and interesting, with the highlight for me being a detailed, fresh Malbec from Heathcote.
Husband and wife duo Alex Schulkin and Galit Shachaf are ‘The Other Right’. They have a love trio of Pet Nats, as well as still Chardonnay and Grenache that are superbly drinkable. ‘My aim for all the wines is to make smashable juice,’ says Alex, whose day job is a scientist at the Australian Wine Research Institute.
I went to a seminar, with John Wurdeman of Pheasants Tears talking about Georgian wine. Georgia is a small country but it has 525 of its own grape varieties, and wine is so embedded in culture that John says it’s the most wine-centric country on earth. He’s eloquent and artistic, and it was very cool to be able to hear him talk.
Mary’s Burger. Sensational. So delicious and it’s amazing how quickly they go down.
Nomad Gose. Slightly salty beer. Delicious.
Had a few Young Henrys Newtowners. Lovely.
This is a whole cow being roasted. Big project. Looks a bit industrial, but apparently the results were very good.
More later. This morning I have to catch a plane to Adelaide.