Every release from Konpira Maru comes with great anticipation in the Vitcult camp. This trio continues to raise the bar. The third and final Pet Nat release in the Mt Midoriyama range. The barnstorming return of the “Tear Of Mokoto”, walks the line between Rose and light red. And finally a more serious iteration of the “Square Root of Five” Sangiovese with hints of mountain herb, juice and just a lick of tannin to finish. Go forth!
Konpira Maru “Mt Midoriyama Chevaucher L’Eclair” Pet Nat, Whitlands VIC 2022 LUC /19.25
“How does one describe the genesis of something so exquisite, hewn from the wild beauty of the Eminence Vineyard atop the Whitlands Plateau? One possible moment with a comparable level of majesty could be the birth of Monkey Magic, surely the greatest introduction to any TV show ever aside from Star Trek Enterprise.
With this epicness in mind we have christened this pet nat Chevaucher L’Eclair, or ‘Ride the Lightning’. A term from the dystopian masterpiece The Stand by Stephen King (‘No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.’) and then commandeered for the title of the greatest thrash album of all time (and second only to Abbey Road in the list of greatest albums of all time), Ride the Lightning, Metallica. Now, here it is in its ultimate iteration, the name of the greatest sparkling wine ever made.
Site: Eminence Vineyard, Whitlands, King Valley, Victoria. The Whitlands is termed “the river in the sky”. Lava flow from a volcanic eruption in nearby township Tolmie flowed to create this epic parcel of dirt. Eroded lava flow which has created 8m of ferrosol, iron rich volcanic top soil. 830m elevation.
Production: Picked together on the 25th of April and pressed immediately in the King Valley at a 70% yield ratio. Cold settled and then racked to 1000L stainless steel ferment vessels. A long, slow, cold ferment given the cooling temperatures we saw in May and bottled with 13 to 16 grams of residual sugar. Given the cooler conditions, we then set up a small heat room inside a container to keep temperatures in the 20’s. After 2 months the bottles were deemed dry, a welcome relief after such a cold autumn. Left on lees for a further 6 months before being disgorged and topped with 10% barrel fermented Chardonnay from the same site. Before spending a further 2 months settling in bottle.Tasting notes: Aromatics of lemon slice and fruit tingle with a palate of preserved mandarin and lemon with notes of green pistachio and a finish of electric orange sherbet bomb”
Konpira Maru “Tear Of Mokoto” (Dolchetto/Sangrantino) VIC 2022 LUC /16.80
“Tears of Makoto was born from a pet nat we made in 2017 when we were just learning the art form, that we bottled too early and therefore got too pressurised. It is a bittersweet memory because before each bottle became a WMD it was the tastiest pet nat ever made but on the flip-side they were also really fun and exciting times. To save the situation Sam and Barry decanted the bottles that hadn’t exploded and made an absolutely delicious rose, a rose so perfect we thought Makoto Nagano himself would shed a single tear.
We haven’t made that wine again until now. No wine felt right for it. But here we are. But why now you ask? Well because this rose is insanely tasty and represents a special moment for us; it is Sagrantino from the first vineyard we ever made a wine from as Konpira Maru in 2014 (Chalmers, Merbein Vineyard) combined with the same Dolcetto used to make our Classic Edition Pet Nat. By itself the Dolcetto has a strident but balletic acidity, and combined with the more insouciant Sagrantino you get a multi-faceted rose that is driven yet layered.
Site: Sagrantino from the Chalmers Merbein vineyard, Murray Darling, Victoria. Red sand over limestone. Farmed conventionally. Dolcetto from Millawa vineyard, King Valley, Victoria. Farmed conventionally.
Production: The two varieties were vinified separately starting with the earlier harvested Sagrantino which was picked and pressed after roughly 8 hours on skins at roughly 70% extraction. It was then cold settled and racked and then left to undergo a natural ferment ensuring temperatures stayed below 24 degrees. Once through ferment it was racked and stored in old French oak. The Dolcetto saw very similar handling albeit with slightly less time on skins. Once fermentation had taken place the Dolcetto was transfered to stainless steel for settling. After a month the wines were racked off gross lees and blended at a 50/50 ratio and then left to settle back in old french oak for a further month. Transferred to stainless steel for a final time post bottling where a small addition of sulphur was made. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.Tasting notes: A nose of overripe raspberries gives way to a palate of jelly crystals and bright red plum with an aniseed tannin. An astounding compositional triumph of a wine“
Konpira Maru “Square Root of Five” Sangiove King Valley VIC 2022 LUC /16.80
“The square root of five is the unsung hero of the golden ratio:
When you learn about the golden ratio you then have to decide, does it mean the world is less complicated than we think, or is it more?
The golden ratio is level 10 fascinating. It underpins the fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,13…), explains the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza, explains the pattern of branches on a tree and the spirals on a pine cone. It can explain patterns in the stock market and is found in the art of Salvador Dali and the music of Debussy. For the bibly or Indiana Jones types, the Ark of the Convenant has the dimensions of 2.5 by 1.5 cubits (~1.6666). If you don’t find all this amazing then you have to have a good hard look at yourself. I’m 100% positive that this is amazing.
The 2022 edition is 60% Sangiovese from the Aradale Vineyard. Grampian Wine Region, grown by our man Andrew Davey. It spent 18 days on skins and pressed off to stainless steel just before the end of ferment. The other 40% is from King River Wines in Edi Upper, King Valley. A spectacular vineyard nestled between the King River and a stunning bluff. This portion spent just 3 days on skins before being pressed off and fermenting nice and cool. They were blended post-ferment for our drinking please. This is designed to drink cold, the umami of the Sangiovese retaining its punch at low T and the grippy tannins making for a dry chewy finish.
Rhubarb, acacia and Tasmanian pepperberry on the nose with a punchy palate of sponge cake, plum and red miso.