Stuart Olsen who is Eloquesta Wines, sent me these 2 wines a while ago. For varying reasons, I’ve only just got around to having a serious look at them and have had to apologise several times for my tardiness. So here we are. Eloquesta is on pour at several “trendy” wine bars, not least of which Fix St James in Sydney. Sommelier and owner Stuart Knox has a palate 2nd to only a very, very select few, so if it’s at his place…you’re drinking good.
A Boy With Fruit No.1, NV, Mudgee
In Stuart’s own words: ‘a Pastiche’ of a wine. No grapes are mentioned on the front label, nor vintage declared. Simply states “Handcrafted, Non vintage red wine made from black grapes and aged in French oak.” Hunting through the Eloquesta website, I found a more in-depth description of the blending and winemaking
Sur-lees aged pressings of Shiraz and Petit Verdot from 2009 and 2010 were double fermented with fresh ripe fruit from the exceptional vintage 2013 – then poured back into French Oak to finish on total lees to protect aromatics and mouth feel for 6 months. Cabernet was added at 15% to give structure and backbone while also adding a plummy, blackcurrant component (Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Cabernet and Viognier). It is mostly Shiraz, then a bit of Petit Verdot and finishing strongly with Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, half of the components co-fermented with viognier.
Right. Here we go.
Opens big on the nose. Gamey and sweet, like Hoi Sin Duck pancakes. Bright confectionery Redskin lollies (thanks Viognier), plums, BBQ Samboy crisps spice, red licorice and then to choco-berry coulis. Unique fruit with an animalistic bent.
Left in the glass for an hour to return to Blue fruits, plums, mulberry, black pastilles and more Redskin lollies. Juicy acid and a distinct stalky herbal lift.
Day 2: An almost reductive nose of cabbage, Forest floor mulch and fleshy purple plums. Spiky acid with flavours of plums to blue fruits with a warming heat.
A unique wine and certainly the only one of its kind in Australia. One for drinking, not thinking.
Shiraz / Petit Verdot 2011, Mudgee
Whole bunch co-fermented. Aged on lees in the United Nations of wood: French, Hungarian and Russian Oak for 18 months.
Earthy and dusty violets. Oak influenced spice is overt in the just opened wine, but fades over time, with blue plums and a glossy smoothness. Dark spice, licorice and blue fruits abound in medium bodied just chocolatey goodness. Dusty tannins from the Petit Verdot provide framework whilst little violet flowers pervade the afterglow. There’s a touch of stalky herbaceous-ness and a touch of lingering heat from the 14.5%, but not too far out of balance. Enough natural acidity to hold and carry the weight.
A handsome wine, and one that still held flavour over several days of being open.