Patrick Sullivan New Releases

Last Tuesday I tasted through a set of new releases from Patrick Sullivan. In fact, these are the most exciting set of wines I've seen from this thoughtful and idiosyncratic producer to date. I'm sure at this point there are more than a few of you asking...who?

Well, Patrick Sullivan and his eponymous label have been around for the last decade or so, at first sourcing fruit from across Victoria before purchasing and planting his property at Ellinbank in West Gippsland. The wines themselves don't fit neatly into any particular category. For a while he was a captive of the "natural" wine movement but that doesn't cut it for me either (nor him I am reliably informed). Sure, they're low intervention but so are so many wines from all sides of the philosophical fence. The Sullivan wines don't conform to pigeon-holing and the most salient thing about them is that they carry varietal expression, vitality, energy and a real sense of joy. 

For Sullivan the most important part of the whole process is the vineyard - growing grapes is his passion and producing wine is a way to give form to the product of  his site and a growing season. They are very much wines that give you more than simplistic renderings with a pretty label. They have undeniable depth and connection to the earth. Some extended skin contact provides a textural counterpoint and oak elevage is all neutral and older of varying sizes. 

There are three wines in this offer - a Chardonnay, Waterskin (a field blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon) and Rain (again a blend of Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc). Each is uniquely different and beautifully effusive. 

I'd urge you to take a look at these. They're unconventional in the best sense.