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Dave Mackintosh loves to explore with skin contact whites.
He’s been playing with this idea for a few years, experimenting with his Smokestack Lightning range. The Fever is a blend of varieties from a single vineyard fermented on skins long and slow for over 70 days then sent to old oak to mature on lees.
The wine goes through natural malo, the fruit dictating how much goes through this process, then it is sent to bottle without cleaning up.
This is a bright and very well made version of ‘amber wine’. If you want to explore this wine style, then Dave’s offering is a very sophisticated place to start.
What It Tastes Like
Flowery aromatics. Frangipani, blossom, lavender, apple cider vinegar (in a good way). There’s tangerine and tart citrus with a soft creaminess and a crisp chalkiness in the mouth. Clean and crunchy with all varieties seamlessly fused together to create a rich tapestry of a wine. This is a unique drink and it’s very well done.
In early 2014 we lost the opportunity to work with an Upper Yarra vineyard we had grown to love. This was the catalyst to search across the Valley for growers, people we could build with and where the varieties and sites were perfectly in sync.
Quite quickly we realised that we were on another exciting learning curve to understand the many natural and cultural elements and interactions that are at play when growing grapes from different sites. It was like we were searching for a perfect collision of all these elements.
This was definitely daunting, but in the end it was a fulfilling experience that culminated in Fever.
Fever is the illustration of all these collisions and is our own particular impression of Yarra terroir.
A blend of 5 different varieties that are each perfect reflections of their site.
Pinot gris, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot noir.
Each variety was picked when each site dictated it.
Blended and co-fermented over a long 70 day ferment.
White skins included.
100% wild ferment and malo.
Old barrique aged without sulphur.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2020
About the Producer
New Zealand born Dave Mackintosh is the head man at Arfion. After cutting his teeth at Oyster Bay, Dave settled in Victoria’s Yarra Valley and after working with Steve Flamsteed at Giant Steps, began his own brand Arfion: which means ‘Our Wine’ in Scottish Gaelic.
Dave is all about letting the fruit do the talking, guiding rather than forcing, constantly searching for the simplest way to get young, energetic wines into the bottle for people to enjoy. His Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are all effortless examples of wines made with a ‘less is more’ mentality. By working with some of the best growers in the Yarra Valley, Dave has put together a gorgeous range of wines that have interest and drinkability in spades.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
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