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Sunday 24 April 2016

How an old-school winemaker turned into a hipster

Barossa winemaker Rick Burge is eloquent, urbane and knowledgeable on many matters. But I doubt that anyone has ever accused him of being a hipster. 

For a start, he doesn't have a beard and his wines are made in a very traditional way.

Nothing hipster about them; no weird blends, funky "out there" labels, silly names or murkiness in the bottle. 

"I'm way too old to even resemble a hipster, even in low lighting, but part of me still feels young occasionally," he jokes. 

But Burge has just released his Burge Family Winemakers 2013 The Hipster red blend; a wine with an interesting story behind it. 

It was inspired by a story on hipster wines in a wine magazine. "The notion that some young Turks are producing wines that equally hip marketers and sommeliers are foisting onto the market as 'hipster wines' intrigued me," he said. 

"So, possibly as a consequence as a reoccurring fear of missing out, I decided to make one.

"We had already released The Spanner, a tempranillo/grenache blend which had garnered some complimentary reviews, but I felt we could go one better by incorporating some monastrell (aka mourvedre/mataro). 

"Instant success. An instant hipster wine. Geez, I thought, this is easy, even if I couldn't maintain any cloudiness that seems a pre-requisite of the hipster style."

The end result is The Hipster 2013, a blend of garnacha (42%), monastrell (31%) and tempranillo (27%) - using the Spanish names, rather than the French. 

It was matured in older Alliers barriques, but it is largely the fruit doing the talking. It is a soft and savoury wine, described by those with which I shared it as "bloody delicious". You can't really ask for much more for $25 a bottle. Oh, and it blossoms when given some air. 

It's well worth a try for anyone aching to be hip - and a lot easier than growing a ridiculous beard. 


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  2. lauti del pino looks like spam to me Winsor