If you aren't familiar with the wines of fledgeling Adelaide Hills outfit Golden Child, it's time to get amongst them. These are some of the most delightfully energetic wines to come across our desk in a while.
For winemaker James Hamilton, it's taken a long time to become an overnight success.
James studied winemaking at Adelaide University alongside well-known winemaking personalities like Taras Ochota (Ochota Barrels) and Ben Haines (Ben Haines Wines and formerly Chief Winemaker at Mount Langi Ghiran).
"After I left Uni, I saw a bunch of my classmates become these winemaking rockstars, and to be honest, I never really thought it would happen to me." says the humble James.
He's worked all over the world making wine and has been part of the winemaking team at D'Arenberg since 2009. But he's now three years into his own operation and plenty of people are taking notice.
"Not met Golden Child wines yet? Time to. Plenty of interest, personality and a thoughtful approach to alt-winemaking... This is one of my ‘keep an eye on’ producers... Really liking the vibe of these wines, and James is a bit of a dude."
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
James' wines all come from the small Adelaide Hills vineyard that his father planted in Kuitpo in 1997.
Situated at the Southern end of the Hills, just above McLaren Vale, David Hamilton's vineyard grows great versions of Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc - your classic Hills affair - but James thinks the best fruit is his Semillon and Cabernet.
"Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon are severely underrated from the Southern Hills and I think (or at least hope) our take on these ‘old school’ varieties will help make them sexy and relevant again."
The Golden Child range has two speeds: the first is his range of Summertime smashables - the cheeky 'Beach Bum' Rosé, the 'Lazy Sunday' Pinot Syrah blend, 'Island Life' Fumé Blanc and the highly-quaffable Cab Merlot that is the '7 pm Red'.
These wines are all about good times and good vibes.
The premium tier (though hardly at premium prices) are all single varietal, single site wines named for songs from James' favourite band.
The 'End of Heartache' Cabernet Sauvignon is closer to a slinky medium-bodied Cabernet you would see from the Yarra Valley than a hulking Cabernets traditionally made in South Australia.
The 'Alive Or Just Breathing' Semillon is an electric barrel fermented Semillon which will blow your hair back.
And the 'As Daylight Dies' Pinot Noir is one of the more instantly likeable Pinots to be found in the Hills.
All three are absolutely worth a look.
We highly recommend you explore James' wines. Such great energy, creativity and mojo in everything he's producing.
Golden Child is one of the most exciting new acts in the Adelaide Hills of the last five years. Get in on the ground floor as this guy blows up!