2016 Dune The Empty Quarter
In 2008, Coriole acquired a vineyard in McLaren Vale with 8ha now planted to shiraz, chenin blanc, grenache, carignan, cinsaut, nero d’Avola, montepulciano, negroamaro, mourvèdre, grenache blanc and sangiovese. It already owned just under 50ha of vineyards, but wanted to test the Mediterranean varieties in the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs.
Enter Coriole brothers Peter and Duncan Lloyd, who had grown up “immersed in a world of wine, olive oil, illegal goat’s cheese and great food”. Both had worked in kitchens from the age of 13, developing a love of great food and wine. Duncan studied winemaking before working in Tasmania, Margaret River, Chianti and the Rhône Valley. He recently returned to McLaren Vale as he couldn’t understand why you would want to live and work anywhere else. Peter left home after university, spending time baking croissants in Paris, making cider in Somerset and raising alpacas in Sussex. Returning to Australia, he worked in wine distribution in Melbourne and “also can’t understand why you would want to live anywhere else but McLaren Vale – which explains his grumpiness because he still lives in Melbourne”. Peter is also the author of the brilliantly humorous PR story of Dune, which you can find at dunewine.com.
Wine writers tend to have a tense relationship with PR consultants, who often have little or no firsthand knowledge of how the wine industry works, even less what’s needed to construct a story with appeal to the public. If it’s about a wine, the most essential piece of information is the retail price, which is all too often omitted.
Dune’s website is the exception. It is also the only place where you can buy the five wines in Dune Wines’ inaugural release (produced by the brothers, who buy the grapes from Coriole), and they are as addictive as any I have tasted in years. A co-fermented blend of grenache, mourvèdre, carignan and shiraz; the bouquet is perfumed with meadow flowers and forest berries, precisely replayed on the light to medium-bodied but intensely juicy palate. 14% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2025, $28
2016 Dune Pyla
Nero d’Avola, mourvèdre, carignan and shiraz. Fermented in beeswax-lined concrete vats; super fragrant bouquet; the palate hosts a corps de ballet of red, purple and blue fruit flavours. Just beautiful; a second glass irresistible. 13.5% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2024, $26
2017 Dune Bonaire McLaren Vale Rosé
Built with carignan and shiraz. Pale lipstick pink. A scented floral and spice bouquet, then a fresh, lively, dry palate. Very smart wine, go anywhere with anything. 12.5% alc, screwcap 93 points, drink to 2019, $25