2017 Tomfoolery, Young Blood Grenache Barossa Valley, South Australia (£19.95, reduced to £17.96 each for cases of 12 bottles, henningswine.co.uk)
I attended a tasting the other day entitled “Off the Vine”. Its purpose was to show the UK wine trade and commentators a collection of “edgy”, modern, irreverent wines that supposedly set the tone for “cool” Australia. A few were from interlopers – large wineries masquerading as boutique producers under diffusion labels. Some were faulty or unpleasant-tasting wines. But the vast majority were pretty standard fare, made by small producers from largely classic grapes and famous wine regions.
One of the most successful portfolios was Tomfoolery, a new addition to my 100 Best Report this year. Young Blood Grenache is pinot-noir-shaped, slippery, pale-hued, and instantly and immensely attractive. It is spiked with peppercorn freshness and I imagine it will chill well for spicy dishes, as well as work wonders with elite charcuterie and rillettes.
Using a clever 30% whole bunches to elevate the aromatics and add a freshness to the finish, this wine is all about stepping back from influencing the flavour in any way. There is a mild oak influence, too, which simply adds texture as opposed to wood notes.
I love the stripped back feel of Young Blood and I urge you to track it down. It tastes like an old grenache made long before new oak barrels were en vogue. What goes around comes around in the wine world and I love it.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).