Athletes of Wine Red Alto! Alto! 2015
I’ve never been much into athletics. All that running and jumping gives me horrible flashbacks to sports lessons at school, landing face first in a muddy puddle while being screamed at by my gym teacher. However, the Athletes of Wine - this is something I can really see myself getting into, and given the quality of their produce, I’d even do a cross-country run in the rain if there was a bottle at the end of it.
The Athletes of Wine are Matt Brooke and Liam O’Brien, two passionate sommeliers from Melbourne who decided to take love of selecting and pouring wine, and convert that into a dedication for producing the stuff. In 2007, when they got started, they’d be the first to admit that they didn’t really know what they were doing - they worked by instinct, and set about making the sort of wine they’d select for their customers in their day job. So, they got themselves a seven year old block of Pinot Noir vines in the Macedon Ranges, which had been neglected and left in an unloved state, and started tending and nursing the vines back to life. Within a couple of years, they had their first crop, and along with grapes sourced from other quality sites in the region, they were able to produce their wines with their philosophy of low intervention, low yields, and instinct-driven viticulture.
The result was an instant winner. Their sympathetic approach and dedication to achieving remarkable amounts of expression - putting across the stunning terroir they work with in the bottle - led to a truly characterful set of wines which quickly won fans from all corners of the globe. This is wine with a real sense of pride, and definitely worth sprinting for.
Banjo says: Liam O’Brien and Matthew Brooke are (like me) sommeliers, whose day job is to buy, recommend and sell wine. They’ve been doing it long enough to have made some great connections, and to get the itch for making some themselves. That was 5 years ago….things may have got out of hand, as they now produce nearly a dozen different wines under 3 labels. The bug bit hard….
The Alto! Alto! Wines are designed to be drunk in their youth, and this Pinot Noir blend from central Victoria is no different.
Malbec and Shiraz add some savoury notes and structure to the wild perfume and suppleness of the Pinot Noir, and then Chardonnay brings in some citrusy acidity for the finish.
A tiny production wine, we’re thrilled to be able to offer this to you.
This is a fascinating red blend, where the dominating grape is a lovely, juicy Pinot Noir, which is backed up by Malbec and Shiraz for a bit of boldness and plenty of body. This combination results in a wine which is really very flexible when it comes to food pairing - it’s going to be delicious with pretty much any meat dish you can come up with. It’s great with game dishes, it’d be a good match for pork, but I think you can’t beat pairing a blend like this with a lovely bit of duck, well seasoned and served with a nice punchy sauce.
We’ve teamed up with the talented team at Smudge Eats to match all our wines to their delicious recipes, which they’ve compiled from the country’s top and emerging chefs.
Recipe link: Duck Confit Pork Hock Broth
Taste matching: Rich