The Margaret River Liquor Merchants Ladies go natural

The Margaret River Liquor Merchants Ladies go natural 1

The participants: The Settler’s Liquor Store Tasting Collective (S.L.S.T.C), guided by Charlotte

The crusade: Natural, Organic and Preservative Free Wines

Time: Wednesday night, a waxing gibbous moon

Place: Margaret River’s oldest drinking emporium (upstairs)

And so it came to pass that the male contingent of the SLSTC were called to other endeavours and the ladies gathered their fair selves in the usual lair for the tasting. Our fearless leader Charlotte posed the question ‘what is natural wine?’ and with that opened a (biodynamically farmed) can of worms. Harvest, press, ferment and then…do nothing? What lax sorcery is this? Quality fruit selection and an experienced, gentle hand is key and minimal intervention seems to be a common thread. Whilst some producers emblazon their practices upon their labels, others choose not to broadcast from their cow horns. We speak of vessels – does an egg breathe more than an oak barrel? So many big questions. A collective sigh from the maidens. Surely we don’t need to solve the minutiae of the wine world in one evening. We loosen our stays, and with M.I. as our M.O. we raise our drinking vessels high and delve in:

2019 La Violetta Zibbo Nat $31.99

A flirty blend of Muscat of Alexandria and Riesling. This fizz reminds us of candy floss, ginger spice and orange tic tacs. (these haven’t been invented yet – ed) Drink it when the sun is shining. Or when you wish it was.

2019 Vallee Du Venom Pet Nat $34.99

Rather like a farmhouse Champagne this one. Swan Valley Chenin is a smart little package of fruits, toastiness and a little grapefruit skin.

2018 Frankland Estate Alter Weg Riesling $30.99                                                                                 

Alter Weg meaning ‘the old way’. Wet stone, sea spray, it’s the Aphrodite of the Rieslings. It reminds us of Fino Sherry and we savour it.

2019 Dormilona Orengi $24.99

Ah, mistress Josephine – you have transformed our familiar Sauvignon blanc & Semillon into a curious new elixir! Pretty salmon coloured wine with elements of freshly harvested spring peas.

2018 Between Five Bells Amber $33.99

An intriguing blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Greco, Viognier and Fiano. It is indeed Amber, and layered, and complex. Wafts of orange wine gums meld with gamey characters, salami and cheese. Let this one breathe. Take your time. Be rewarded.

2018 Blue Poles/Amato Vino Lost On Mars $26.99

Beautiful Marsanne – we don’t see you often. You have emerged from the amphora with a rich, layered texure. You are fruity and savoury all at once with lively acidity.

2018 Brave New Wine Rude Boy $25.99

Well well well. The only rude boy invited to our soiree – and he brings cherry cordial! A happy marriage of red and white varieties. Not so much thinking, just happy drinking here.

2018 Settlers Ridge Organic Blend 51 $22.99

Pioneers of the all things organic around these parts. A pleasing blend with a plummy soft palate. Unadulterated, pure as the driven snow. If additions be your enemy, rest easy.

2018 Somos Tintito $23.99

A mystery bag of varieties with aromatics of coffee grounds, tonka beans and sour cherries. So juicy, so appealing, so merry. We require much of this juice – a Nebuchadnezzar* should suffice!

2017 Happs PF Red $23.99

Fear not, fair maidens, another wine free of additions. A smooth blend of red varietals with botanicals on the nose and a few masculine tannins on the tongue. Gasp.

2016 Between Five Bells Red $29.99

Shiraz and three Italian amigos – Nebbiolo, Nero and Negroamaro. This is a supple red – plump raisins with mace, aniseed and nutmeg wafts. Sip with something straight from the baking stone, you domestic gods and godesses.

And so, rosy of cheek and happy in ourselves we survey the remains of our indulgence. Our wisest words be thus: if it pleases you, drink of it. Also, embrace your female friends. Why get catty when you can get natty?

Bathsheba Beveridge                       

Full time Imbiber and guest scriber


*Nebuchadnezzar = 15 Litre