News Satire People Food Other

Alex Retief Wines and the Urban Winery

By Alex Russell Instagram @ozwineguy on October 27, 2016 in Food

Photo: Arthur Schuster

Photo: Arthur Schuster

I was recently interviewed about my wine research for the ABC’s Catalyst program. We filmed at The Urban Winery (on Mary Street in St Peters). I didn’t know this until I showed up there, but this is Alex Retief’s new winery and cellar door.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Alex’s wines over the last couple of years and have loved the wines of his that I’ve tried. As it turns out, he’s a genuinely nice guy with some seriously good booze.
It was great to meet him, check out his wines and chat about wine in general.

We managed to work our way through the following seven wines…

Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – Out of Tumbarumba, he puts this into older barrels, so it’s not your typical Sauvy (they generally have no oak treatment). It has beautiful texture to it and the oak still lets the fruit shine through. Personally, I’m a bit over Sauv Blanc, but I’d very happily drink this stuff.

Chardonnay 2014 – The Chardies coming out of Tumbarumba are making waves and this is a great example – newer oak, some malolactic fermentation (think buttery flavours) without being too over-the-top. This was one of the favourites amongst the film crew.

Rosé 2013 – Rosés can often be almost sickly sweet, but this is not. It’s dry and crisp, with some beautiful texture to it. Many will overlook a rosé on a wine list, but I’d highly recommend trying this one. Made from Cabernet, it’s a serious wine.

Shiraz 2012 and 2013 (Gundagai) – 2012 was a cooler year. This is the wine I talked about in the Catalyst episode. I really could smell white and black pepper through this, with a touch of eucalypt, and some really vibrant, juicy red berries shine through. The 2013 was a complete contrast – far less pepper, darker berries. The Catalyst crew were fascinated to try these side-by-side and see just how different they were – same grape, same vineyard, different vintage, totally different wine.

Field blend 2015 – This is made of a bunch of stuff, including Grenache, Mataro, Malbec and others, depending on the vintage. It’s such an easy-to-drink wine. Try this with just about anyone and you’ll all be asking for another glass of it. It’s a lighter style, but will still go well amongst those who prefer a heavier red.

‘The Alias’ Mataro 2013 – I This stood out as the wine to cellar for a while, with some grippy tannins that’ll soften, but still allow for drinking now. It’s all about dark fruits with a savoury feel to it – have it with a big steak.

Upcoming drops – I had a bit of a sneak peak at a few upcoming drops, including the 2015 Tempranillo. The future certainly looks bright. He’s also offering some really interesting services – you can get involved in the winemaking process and make wines under your own label –

Where to buy?
If you want to get them retail, has a selection of some of the wines, or you can go out to St Peters with a few friends and try the wines in matched Riedel glasses.