This may not be the punchline we normally associate with Jamie Oliver, England’s quirky no-nonsense Essex-born chef, restaurateur and celebrity, or with a classy winery from South Australia – but in this case that’s exactly what it is!
Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools (Juliette) were well chuffed with the wines from the Clare-based winery Some Young Punks, particularly the Monsters Monsters Attack! riesling, as shown in the comment he posted online:
Apart from great wine and crazy names and eye-catching labels, what else is interesting about the Some Young Punks winemakers? They are all affiliated to the University of Adelaide.
Who are they?
The Some Young Punks winemakers are Nic Bourke, Jen Gardner and Col McBryde, and assistant winemaker Sarah Little.
What is the link with the University of Adelaide?
Jen Gardner studied biochemistry and genetics at the University of Adelaide (finishing in 1995); Nic Bourke and Col McBryde studied oenology together, finishing in 2001. Jen and Col also completed both their Honours and PhDs at Adelaide. Jen is actually from Adelaide too, while Col is from Auckland, NZ, and Nic is from Orange NSW.
How did Some Young Punks get started?
Jen and Col started Adelina Wines in 2002 in Clare, about 130km north of Adelaide, and in 2005 they started Some Young Punks (‘Punks’) with Nic.
Tell us about the Punks wines…
While the Punks has its roots in Clare, they also make wine using grapes from the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Col tells me:
“Essentially we work with varieties that we find exciting/intriguing… we like working with varieties that we think are well suited to the particular climates of individual regions.” Hence the Clare riesling!
But if the region and variety are not obvious combinations? “If we’re still intrigued/interested we’ll have a bit of a crack, hence why we make a sangiovese/shiraz from the Barossa”.
Despite the amusing, shocking, unique labels and names of wines, the Punks and Adelina take a serious approach to their winemaking, with a minimalist intervention approach, handpicking small lots, using indigenous yeast, some basket pressing and limited filtration.
Why the crazy labels?
Cols says: “The ranges of wine all stem from a story, the Pulp Fiction range are adaptations of actual Pulp novels from the ’20s through ’50s, and the T’n'T range bound by two fictional characters Trixie and Tessa Love, and a pictorial representation of what hi-jinx they get up to. The Live and Rare conceptually brings the concepts of femininity beauty and strength, not only for package, but also the stylistic winemaking direction.”
But make no mistake the labels are fun and eye-catching but the wine is serious. Here are a few examples:
Passion Has Red Lips Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (based on the Pulp Fiction theme) – ‘Turn, splash and savour. Unfiltered confessions follow as the sin glows red and passionate like those lips.’
The Squid’s Fist Sangiovese/Shiraz 2011 – ‘A Battle in the Deep as two foes collide! The Squid’s Fist lands hard against the crude steel of the submersible, the force buckles, kinks and crushes it as an old rivalry comes to a head 750ml under the seal.’
Naked on Roller Skates – started life as a barbera, and morphed into a shiraz/mataro – a much more serious wine than its label might suggest and a more discreet label than the name might suggest!
Startling and a little shocking – all wrapped up with a passion for making good wine – a great South Australian combination born out of our great winemaking tradition.