2021 Patrick Sullivan Jumping Juice Sunset
Region: Gippsland < Victoria < Australia
Grapes: Shiraz (Syrah), Gewurtztraminer
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming; co-fermented; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Patrick Sullivan
NEW VINTAGE! Patrick Sullivan grew up in the countryside of Victoria in Australia and took off for London at 19, ending up with a job in wine - and experienced his natural wine revelation. He then returned home to Australia to study wine but dropped out because he didn’t think he would use the information they were teaching. It all clicked for him when he started working with progressive bioD producer Bill Downie, with whom he learned the value of serious, hardworking viticulture. In 2016, he and his wife Megan took the leap on a property in Gippsland and planted their first vines. He’s making a bit of wine from this fruit now, but is still buying organic or biodynamic fruit from friends and neighbors to make his Jumpin Juice line of experimental natty wines. Except he doesn’t want to be put in the ‘natural’ camp because he thinks it undersells the most important part of what he’s doing, which for him is the move AWAY from conventional farming and industrial winemaking (big down under). He also thinks the idea of natural wine downplays the hard work that goes into making wine without all the smoke and mirrors that conventional producers employ -- is it natural (or easy) to bunch and leaf thin? Probably not. Whatever he calls himself (you do you, Patrick!), we think he’s a poster child for the kind of clean Aussie wines we want to drink - light, fresh and super expressive of their place.
Sunset is his red/white co-ferment (Aussies love these), a blend of Sauv Blanc, Gewurtztraminer + Shiraz that literally glows like a late summer sunset.
For this gorgeous wine, the grapes all come from Mike Sleggers, a certified-biodynamic grower in Margaret River, and SB and the Gewurzt both are fermented on skins, so is the Shiraz, but only for a short time. The whole lot is then combined together in lush, explosive witch's brew of tropical punch, fuzzy peach and pepper spice. Patrick had us at the color, but the juice this vintage is BEYOND! These wines are now allocated and we didn't get much, so if you're a fan of exotic 'tweener wines (as are we), grab a few bottles now!