At Chalmers we love a new project as much as we love teaming up with good people.
Sydney independent retailer Oak Barrel and #bucketwine have been friends for a couple of years now. Lucky us! What a great CBD venue for sourcing small production vino, craft beers, and generally booze of good quality and interest. After holding our 2014 Sydney #bucketwine vintage tasting and sale there last year, I got chatting with wine buyer Julian about custom making some #bucketwine for Oak Barrel in 2015. Julian loved the idea.
Our family has a serious love for southern Italian varieties. First of all they suit our climate and lifestyle, but what they also offer are distinctly savoury characters in both whites and reds that we find particularly appealing. They naturally produce the kind of wines that we seek to fill our glasses with, and that we encourage others to fill their glasses with as well. The shelves and fridges at Oak Barrel are full of these styles of wine.
For the collaboration I suggested crafting two wines, like twins; identical in every way, except for the winemaking. What fuelled the idea even more was the anticipation of the project and the two resulting wines opening up some pretty exciting discussion i.e. likes, dislikes, strengths, preferences and drinkability. It’s not everyday consumers get the opportunity to taste this kind of a ‘side-by-side’ comparison. Even though this does go on in many wineries around the world often the results are blended after trials due to trial volumes etc. Exciting stuff – and just the type of project we love at #bucketwine HQ.
Why the names? There seemed to be an Alice in Wonderland theme emerging at Oak Barrel this year, so we ran with it. The twins of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through a Looking Glass’ Tweedledum and Tweedledee are far and wide known as characters that cross Alice in Wonderlands path. We like this and it completely relates to the wines…
Vintage in Mildura came along and we picked a selection of three southern Italian white varieties we are super passionate about; Vermentino, Fiano and Greco, for the project. The two wines would be the same blend make up and both co-fermented, only one was crushed and pressed of its skins immediately and fermented dry (Tweedledum), and the other crushed and left entirely on its skins until fermented dry (Tweedledee). Both wines were fermented using wild yeasts as with all our wines, and had no additions apart from sulphur at bottling. Not adding any acid in a region like Murray Darling is almost unheard of. This is where we place huge importance on varietal characteristics and picking times to retain natural acidity and freshness in our hot dry climate. The below forecast is from a heatwave that occurred the week after the grapes were picked for this project.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee have now taken their journey to Oak Barrel ready for the keen, curious and thirsty folk in Sydney to get involved. Small volumes of both the wines are now available in store and if you get a chance to try them – we are keen to hear your thoughts. Use the #bucketwine hashtag so we can track down your feedback, or where Tweedledum and Tweedledee have ended up.
See more about our Chalmers range of Italian varietals here.