Athletes of Wine Alto White Blend 2018

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  • South Melbourne
  • Sydney
The athletes are two Melbourne sommeliers, Matt Brooke and Liam O'Brien, who met working at Circa the Prince, and were inspired to endeavour to resuscitate a half-acre block of pinot noir in the Macedon Ranges planted in 2000, but thereafter left untouched, unpruned and half dead. They left the first crop for the birds in '08; picked a few grapes in '09; and were exhilarated to harvest half a tonne of pinot in both '10 and '11. In '12 they took over the lease of 0.6ha of chardonnay in Romsey, which involved leaving the pinot block while they built careers and families. Today they lease the chardonnay block in Romsey, and buy pinot from growers in the Macedon region. I crossed paths with both Matt and Liam at Circa, and with Liam at the Len Evans Tutorial. So it comes as no surprise to find that they are persevering with their venture, and that the quality of the wines is as good as it is. Mind you, there's plenty of room to grow without losing the fun of the chase. JAMES HALLIDAY

We have known Liam and Matty for who knows how long now. Mainly through the trade and the many dealings we have had with them in their various guises at various restaurants but definitely the odd beer or two on the way as well.
The Athletes of Wined project is really drilling along now and the whole range is great and difficult to pick a favourite.

Regardless we had to pick one and the White Blend has just got everything we could want in this style. Its nose is lifted and floral with delicate hits of spice that intermingle with citrus and green tree fruit. The palate is racy and jumps out at you. No oak but a few tricks to add a bit of texture and weight which we love. This is one to drink not think, and we mean that in the best possible way. PWS