Winner: Ben Wallis with the 2016 Frizzante made from grapes picked in March, bottled on April 1 and back in the cellar door by April 8 when four cases sold. Picture: Greg Ellis
A new style of wine introduced to the region as part of the 25th vintage celebrations at Coolangatta Estate two years ago is proving so popular the South Coast winery can’t make enough.
In The Loop episode 7 featuring a story on Coolangatta EstateCellar door manager Ben Wallis said the first two vintages ofFrizzante sold out and early signs show the third vintage is already heading the same way.
Wine region taking off: Ben Bishop in the cellar door at Coolangatta Estate. Picture: Greg Ellis.
The Bishop family at the Shoalhaven Heads vineyard had spokenabout making a Frizzantefrom Savagnin grapes for years.They did that with the25th anniversary vintage in 2014 but then changed to use Rosethe nextyear.It proved equallypopular when bottled by thewinemakers at Tyrrells 12 months ago. So vigneron GregBishop decided to make it again during the 2016 harvest in February.This time with Tannat and Chambourcin grape varieties.The grapes were trucked to the Hunter the day they were pickedin early March and returned in the bottle two weeks later.
“It was bottled on April 1 and returned to the cellar door here at Shoalhaven Heads on April 8 and we sold four cases on Saturday April9. Thatis how popular it is.The quantity is only slightly more than we had from the 2015 harvest which sold out. We are bound by that restriction being Estate Grown still,” Mr Wallis said.
Estate Grown means Coolangatta only makes wine from grapes from the vineyard.
Frizzante is a lower-alcohol style sweet wine with bubbles but not as many as a sparkling wine.
Coolangatta Estate and Cambewarra Estate both madeFrizzante wines in 2014 to introduce somethingdifferent to wine enthusiasts in the region.Cambewarra made it usingChambourcin grapes.
Mr Wallis said people hadassociated theCoolangattaname with the dry white styles before but the Frizzanteand the Tannat red wine variety itself, when it wasintroduced in recent years, have both beenbig hits.
Frizzante is anItalian wine style meaning slightly effervescent.Mr Wallis described it as having “a little residual sweetness with a spritz that takes a little of the edge off”.
“I think the translation [offrizzante] is along the lines of little bubble.With a carbonated wine you see those bubbles in the glass where with this one you feel it more on the palate. But without that spritz it would be a lot sweeter again. It comes in at 5 per cent alcohol and that is pretty much to do with the winemaking method. The sweetness has come as a result of having the wine not fermented right out. So you have higher sugar and that means the alcohol content is lower as well,” he said.
Mr Wallis believesthe first two Frizzantes sold outbecause people want to try news things.He said it showed you can try something different and have it work. The reason the Frizzante style can come back so quicklyafter harvest is that it does not have to go through all the same process.“The style of wine is made to enjoy before the next vintage. It is a celebration of theharvest. It is made to be drunk straight away”.
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