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We're thrilled to announce that after a long wait, the rare and wild natural wines from Lucy Margaux are here. It's always a joy to see the bottles with their cheeky, home-spun labels on our shelves because they are unapologetically different from the conventional wine we usually see coming from Australia. For those who may have dismissed Australian wine as being overly-processed, extracted, or unimaginative, this is a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself and challenge what you think you know about the wines from Down Under.
Anton Von Klopper is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the Australian natural wine movement. When the South African expat first arrived in the Adelaide Hills during the early aughts, his cloudy, no-sulfur wines were met with some derision. Thankfully, he held fast to his philosophy, which seems to be a hybrid of Rudolph Steiner's theory on biodynamics and Goethe's "Metamorphosis of Plants," but it boils down to this: grapes achieve their purest expression when they are not altered by preservatives or artifical additions of any kind. Most importantly, grapes should be sourced from sites that haven't been compromised by the use of herbicides or chemicals, ever.
By tossing out the conventional winemaking rule book, Anton and his team are free to trust their intuition and experiment with unusual blends (like the tasty Pinot Noir Merlot "PM") and skin-maceration (the "Wildman" Sauvignon Blanc, for example) and create wines that are as fun to make as they are to consume rapidly.
We have a limited amount of these wines that we're excited to share today. Please keep in mind that these bottles have traveled across the globe and may need a couple months to settle. If you absolutely can't wait (as I couldn't) then it's recommended that you enjoy the wine the same day of opening - an easy task! Amanda Bowman
"Wildman Blanc" is 100% untamed Sauvignon Blanc sourced from young, biodynamic vines planted in the red clay soils of Totness (in Adelaide). The grapes are hand-harvested, then left on the skins to ferment in barrel with native yeasts and nothing else. The nose shows exotic fragrances of tropical tree fruit, sweet wafts of lychee and pear mingle with savory spice and faint leesy notes. The palate is zesty with lime pith, white pepper, and pear with a wallop of vigorous acidity. This is a wine we affectionately refer to as a "porch pounder." Serve chilled and enjoy! Amanda Bowman
The 2017 "Rosato" is a spicy and easy-drinking blend of Pinot Gris and Sangiovese sourced from the noted Hahndorf vineyards in the Adelaide Hills. The grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and foot-trod before they are left to ferment in barrel with native yeasts. The wine shows a vibrant watermelon hue in the glass with aromas that are not far off! Fresh notes of juicy melon, red cherry, and peppery orange zest float up from the glass. The palate is light with punchy acidity and crunchy bramble fruit, tangy citrus, and cool minerals on the finish. A most refreshing solution to the hot summer days ahead! Amanda Bowman
"PM" is a blend of mostly Pinot Noir with a balance of Merlot that we could happily drink from A.M. to P.M. The grapes are sourced from two organically farmed parcels of red clay over sandstone in the Basket Range, then fermented separately with native yeasts before being blended together in barrel with no added sulfur. This is a cheerful wine that shows a hazy red/purple in the glass. The aromas are fresh and lively with abundant notes of tart cherry and pomegranate seeds with hints of savory black olive. The palate is energetic with crunchy acidity and bright red fruit flavors cascading over subtle earthy spice on the finish. This is delicious now with a slight chill but should be even better after a few months resting in the cellar. Amanda Bowman
"Noir de Florette" is 100% Pinot Noir made from partially de-stemmed fruit and free-run juice to make a light, brambly style of Pinot that drinks like a dark rosé. The robe is a cloudy ruby tone in the glass that shows bucolic aromas of plump raspberries, earthy spice, and orange blossom. The fine tannins are buoyed by bright acidity to frame flavors of tart cranberry, cinnamon, blood orange, and dusty minerals for a finish that is almost autumnal. A lovely Pinot that shows best with a slight chill. Amanda Bowman
Little Creek Estate is a small hillside vineyard close to the ocean in the Adelaide Hills and is one of the few single vineyard wines Anton releases each year. 100% Pinot Noir from a sunny and humid climate give this wine a complex interplay of delicate tannins and exuberant fruit and spice character. The robe is a cloudy red in the glass with layered aromas of black cherry, anise seed, orange peel, and sweet tobacco. Flavors of brown spice, underbrush, and notes of crunchy plum flesh evolve into blood orange, licorice, and dried herbs. A thought-provoking wine that should shine after some time in bottle. Amanda Bowman