Australian wine makers often say, “I make my wine with ripe fruit”. The insinuation is that European wine makers don’t use ripe grapes and so make weedy wines. I call this ‘crap’ and it gets me very irritated because:
- Some of the best wines are made with perfectly ripe grapes yet are low alcohol and not lacking any concentration. Obviously German wines fit into this category, yet this is true of other wines too. The de Montille Burgundies I’ve had recently have all been 12% and have been full of ripe fruit with plenty of depth. Last night’s Engel Vosne 1er cru[/linkpost] was only 12.5%. [link2post id="1669"]Jean-Marc Roulot’s village wines are all sub-13% and are models of stylish beauty. I’ve had good sub-13% Claret. Grapes for Champagne are only just ripe and they can be incredibly weighty and concentrated.
- ‘Ripe’ does not mean ‘over-ripe’. Lots of these 14-17% monsters are bloody awful. They often reek of alcohol and have nasty, hot palates. The fruit is jammy, the tannins soupy. The real beasts are not good candidates for ageing.
As I’ve said on many occasions, I like loveliness, harmony, and beauty. I suppose this is why there is such a dearth of tasting notes for Australian wines here. No Recioto either. I have a soft-spot for many new world wines, but they tend to be those that are light in alcohol, balanced and harmonious; lovely wines, as they are also known.