2021 Patrick Sullivan Jumping Juice 'Yellow Yellow'
Region: Margaret River < Australia
Grapes: 83% Sauvignon Blanc, 17% Gewurtztraminer
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming; whole cluster, co-fermented, carbonic; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Patrick Sullivan
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 Jumping 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.
We're loving his take on Aussie Sauv Blanc, which here is raw and wild -- but squeaky clean and absolutely true to the varietal and place. The fruit is pristine, coming from a biodynamic farm in western Australia, in the Margaret River zone. He does it 100% whole bunch, carbonic and skin-contact, then throwing a curveball with the additon of Gewürztraminer which quietly softens the greeny Sauvignon Blanc character. The result is electric, with barely a whisper of SB's typical jalapeño spice balancing tropical pineapple and cream. Vibrant, fun, lip-smacking and refreshingly light for Australia - it’s like the wine version of a perfectly made, not sweet Piña Colada.