Andrew Jamieson Wine Merchants represent independent producers from Australia, those who blend trailblazing with tradition.
Created by Andrew Jamieson, an accomplished sommelier and bar/restaurant manager, AJWM is a specialist wine wholesaler and vehement advocate of emerging producers. Like those we represent, we're passionate about nurturing unique sites for future generations of winemakers (and wine drinkers), and celebrating regional and varietal harmony.
The AJWM portfolio showcases producers who are champions of their terroir; vignerons who toil hard in the vineyard so they can employ a hands-off, minimalist approach in the winery. The resulting drops can be found at independent retailers, and on the lists of local haunts, and top restaurants and bars right around the country.
Andrew Jamieson Wine Merchants currently represents 16 producers from Australia, with expansion continuing across the Tasman and into Europe.
AJWM + FRIENDS WINTER TRADE DAY 2017
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 12-4PM,
GOLDEN AGE CINEMA & BAR
80 COMMONWEALTH ST, SURRY HILLS
We've gathered some brilliant friends from near and far to ensure you'll discover something delicious at our Winter Trade Day on Tuesday August 15 at Golden Age Cinema & Bar in Surry Hills.
On the wine front, there will be Tasmania's Moorilla, South Australian gems Michael Hall and Izway Wines, as well as some Italian-flavour from Barolo and Brunello importer Nebbia Wines. The cheeky Betoota Bitter and Yulli's Brews boys will also be there to pour some beers and spin some yarns.
AJWM producers that will be showing their wines on the day include Damo from Hart & Hunter, Mr Mike Boudry from MOON Wines and Neil Prentice from Moondarra and Holly's Garden. What's more, we're very excited to be introducing some fresh brands including Simão & Co., dalla Mia Finestra as well as two new Primavera Vineyard estate labels - Yarra Peaks and Evviva. Please join us for what should be a fantastic event. We are all looking forward to seeing you and your team there.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0451 434 701.
VINTAGE 2017 - BAROSSA
A quick conversation with a busy, exhausted but very excited Dave Lehmann of David Franz wines about vintage 2017 in the Barossa.
JK: “G’day Dave, can you run me through this year’s vintage? Are you all done?”
DL: “Just about, yea. Waiting on a little bit of cabernet coming in pretty soon, apples for Scrumpy and some monte for a mate.”
JK: “Very good. So how was the bulk of vintage 2017?”
DL: “Bloody terrific top-to-bottom in the Barossa.”
JK: “Nice, so no dramas then?”
DL: “We just had such a nice, wet winter which was great for the vines. But then quite a wet spring was a bit problematic. The flood put some disease pressure on, but it wasn’t too bad at all. The vines were just set up so beautifully, they were so healthy.”
JK: “But the rain managed to all clear off for a nice dry harvest?”
DL: “Yea, pretty much. We had a little bit of rain, but that just freshened up the grapes nicely – it allowed for flavour ripeness to catch up with the sugar levels.”
JK: “Looks like it was all a bit later than the last couple of years?”
DL: “It was. Healthy and late. Not unexpectedly late though – I’ve always worked off Easter. A late Easter means a late harvest. Vines don’t take notice of the date, they just know the moon.”
JK: “And yields, were they healthy?”
DL: “Yea. A bit like 2006, it was monster vintage. We’ve upped our tonnage [intake at the winery] naturally from larger crops off each block we were sourcing from, and then extraction rates have been 20% higher as well. Luckily we were nice and organised with bottling previous years wines and had plenty of empty tanks and barrels at the winery.”
JK: “So the high yields haven’t affected quality?”
DL: “You look at the wines and they’re awesome. It’s proving this mantra of happy vines makes happy wines. When they’re naturally going well on their own, everything just comes together nicely. I mean look at the Loan Vineyard, an amazing dry grown vineyard, managed organically and biodynamically, they’re basically bush vines. There was no crop in 2015 or 2016. But this year we got 2000 litres. It’s now ticking through malo, and pretty exciting.”
JK: “So Semillons looking good then. Anything else really taking your eye at this stage?”
DL: “It’s an amazing vintage across the board really, one of the most fragrant and lifted. Bordeaux varieties are off the hook. As was shiraz – it’s just singing this year. But, as usual for me, those Bordeaux varieties just speak to me above everything else. Aromatic range is incredible.”
JK: “And in the winery, anything different, anything new to report on?”
DL: “Broadly, my philosophy has evolved a lot in the last 7-8 years. I’m going for a more refined, elegant, aromatic style; a lighter style. I’ve been drinking a lot of gamay and pinots at home; wines with a lighter touch. Aromatic, food friendly. Trying to do grenache with a Burgundian sensibility; the 2015 is about to reach your warehouse I think, and called grenache noir to hint at that. In saying that, I’m still staying true to the core of Kid’s wines [Georgie's Walk, Alexander's Reward and Benjamin's Promise] with that intensity, but even with those I’m evolving; raining back the oak, making sure the fruit is front and centre. No two vintages are ever the same, and you change the way you make it depending on the fruit each year but always with that overriding quest for the balance. And 2017 is really helping with that.”
JK: Sounds exciting, looking forward to coming down and tasting some barrels and seeing the wines a bit further down the track.
DL: Yea, it is. Hopefully we’ll have our cellar door ready by then, construction is set to finish in a fortnight – it's coming together nicely. Need to organise a time to get to Sydney soon, too, with the new batch of 2015 releases. Have you wrapped your lips around them yet? They look unreal. Anyway, better go – I’ve gotta call a bloke to check on where that cabernet is at.
VINTAGE 2017 - MCLAREN VALE
They're done and dusted, down in the Vale. And what a vintage it was - our friends at Inkwell have just finished their largest ever. One press, one, destemmer, one tractor and one devoted couple - Irena and Dudley Brown - were worked to the bone for seven weeks, generously aided by a swathe of big-hearted helping hands.
After a cool and wet winter, with record rainfalls, the clouds parted and sun shone brightly over McLaren Vale from veraison onwards. “Lots of water followed by lots of sunshine,” sums up Dudley. “Which for low yielding sites, like ours, was amazing. We didn’t have dense canopies so there was good airflow and no disease pressures at our site.”
Harvest kicked off a few weeks later than previous years, beginning in the last week of February for Inkwell, with viognier coming off the vines as soon as the desired ginger spice character emerged. This was followed by their grenache, mataro, shiraz, primitivo and cabernet sauvignon. “Six weeks of picking across six varieties,” explains Dudley. “And everything looks really good. It was ideal weather-wise, but a bit of a deceiving year due to a low alcohol yet high malic acid - it took courage to pick early. This means 2017 is going to produce a very fresh, acid driven style that we’re very excited about. We like plenty of fresh natural acid as we don’t add any,” he says.
The final pick came a week before easter. Late harvest zinfandel, destined for Black & Blue Late Harvest Fortified, was picked at 17 baume, let go naturally through ferment before it was stopped at 6 baume, fortified with 96 per cent pure spirit and drained into 100-litre barrels to transform into liquid pleasure.
New to the winery in 2017 is fruit from Ricca Terra Farms in the Riverland. Slancamenca bela, fiano and vermentino have all been fermented on skins. Their fate lies somewhere in the DubStyle Tangerine range, alongside the estate-grown viognier. Whether they are bottled as varietal wines or blends yet to be decided.
At the moment just about everything has completed primary fermentaion and ticking through malo. "Sometimes they shoot through, others you have to wait until spring,” says Dudley.
And then we’ll have to wait a little longer as the wines evolve in barrel, mature in bottle and begin to tell the proper tale of vintage 2017 in McLaren Vale.
For more, it's worth a read over the thoughts of the ever insightful and entertaining Philip White; Redefining Extreme: Vintage 2017