Last year Andrew Thomas invited Tasmanian winemaker Joe Holyman of Stoney Rise to have some fun with a parcel of Braemore Semillon.
“The brief was simple,” Andrew says.
“Make a completely different style of wine to mine with the same grapes.
“Those who know Joe will appreciate his sense of mischief and no-bullshit approach to winemaking.
“While I personally find the wine a little confronting, that’s not the point. It’s the concept and the difference that I love, and I know there are many, many people out there who will dig the wine more than I do.”
WBM also found the cloudy wine confronting – we prefer the fresh, bright nature of the ‘standard’ 2019 Braemore Semillon.
The fruit was foot trodden and left overnight before pressing the next day. No SO2, no finings, no settling the juice. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts on full solids. No temperature control.
The ferment was finished bone dry in just two days. Racked only twice over the next eight months. A miniscule SO2 addition just prior to hand bottling in December 2019 without fining or filtration.
The name Like A Version has been borrowed from Triple J’s Friday morning segment.
Thomas Wines’ tasting note: “Mid yellow in colour with a natural light cloudiness. An unusual aromatic combination of marmalade like citrus fruit, chamomile tea, nuts and a pungent solids induced sulphide complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with a lightly creamy texture and a soft acidity. Flavours of lemongrass, baked apple and a hint of bitter almond. The antithesis of pure and precise ‘classic’ Hunter Valley Semillon, but that’s exactly the point. This wine has not been fined or filtered and has a natural deposit. For the full-blown ‘natural’ wine experience, roll the bottle to re-suspend the solids before serving, otherwise decanting is recommended. Drink now to 2022.
• A version of this article first appeared in our Friday newsletter The Week That Was.