Ready to take a trip into the vinous unknown? Here we've put together a selection of some of favourite wines that are notable for their individuality. In some cases they make use of unusual grape varieties or really singular vineyard locations; in others it down to the inventiveness of the winemaker and the techniques they employ. But in all cases more than just being individual alone - everything here is also absolutely delicious.
So get ready to take a walk on the wildside and give these six truly unique wines a try.
Hailing from the Happy Canyon (I like to think of it as a bigger Happy Valley) region of Santa Barbara this wine is like diving head-first into a pool of freshly picked blackcurrants. It has remarkable purity of fruit flavour and a fine tannic structure that makes it ideal to enjoy slightly chilled.
Literally a taste of Pieter’s subconscious this wine was created wiring him up to neural monitoring equipment and measuring his responses to 21 different wines. The finished article is taught, masculine red with plenty of blackberry and cranberry fruit and firm, meaty tannins – a true one off with only 120 bottles for Hong Kong.
Rioja La Condenada
Meaning ‘The Condemned’ La Condenada is a plot Artuke bought in 2012 and which prior to that had been abandoned despite the vines being more than 100 years old. The wine here is very lifted and elegant with more red fruit notes and fine but plentiful tannins and does justice to this incredible vineyard.
A taste of the Southern Rhone transplanted to South Africa, Craven’s Clairette is absolutely brimming with zesty grapefruit flavours alongside a slightly pithy texture from some time on the skins during fermentation. This comes together in a white wine with real vivacity and excitement that is an exceptional partner for Vietnamese flavours.
Tras da Vina Albarino
This is a brilliant demonstration that Albarino can produce ‘serious’ wines – it combines fantastic fruit from some of Zarate’s oldest vineyards with long lees aging to produce a wine that combines taut citrus fruit with a richness and weight not normally found in Albarino.