The idea of blending red and white grapes has been with us for many years. The most obvious example is with the great wines of Champagne where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Meunier (the latter two, red grapes) are regularly mixed, to varying degrees. Those wines are, aside from the Rosés, white.
We also have the red wines, from the multi-coloured blends, such as the fabulous Cote Rotie wines from the Rhone Valley in France, where Shiraz, or Syrah as they call it, very often sees a dollop of Viognier. This was a style which became very popular here some years ago, but has faded somewhat and now, it seems that only the very best survive. Clonakilla is the obvious example. Most suffered from too much Viognier in the blend which marred the balance. Wines like these can be found from many regions. California also championed this style.
Long before Aussies were tweaking this style, Peter Lehmann was well known for a small amount of certain whites in his Barossa reds, back in his Saltram days.
Now, from the 2020 vintage (and any wine from that vintage, given the ravages of bushfires and then the Covid 19 virus, is a minor miracle in itself), we have Patritti’s ‘April Red’, a blend of Grenache and Pedro Ximenez ($24, 14%). The blend is 87.6% Grenache and 12.4% Pedro.
There are not many vineyards still within city limits these days – think Bordeaux’s Haut Brion and Penfold’s Magill. The Marion Vineyard in Adelaide is another. Richard Hamilton produced wines from here for many years. Now the Patritti family, coming up towards their centenary, have co-fermented Grenache, planted back in 1907, with whole bunches of Pedro Ximenez, grown on the banks of the Sturt Creek in Laffer’s Triangle, those vines at least fifty years old as well. Open fermentation and then pressing, for a wine designed to be enjoyed while young.
Appealing crimson colour. Lovely fresh and floral aromatics. Spices. A hint of milk chocolate. The nose offered a character reminiscent of a chocolate and strawberry ice-cream with frangipani garnish. The wine is a simple style – nothing wrong with that – and is very easy to drink. Exactly as intended, one suspects. Mid-length. This is ideal for those looking for a lighter style red. 88.