Based in McLaren Vale, South Australia, Alpha Box & Dice are embarking on an Alphabet of Wine. Each 'letter' embodies an individual winemaking project, with the end goal being a complete collection of wines that celebrates the diverse styles and varieties found in South Australia's famous wine regions, including McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley.
Since its beginning in 2008, AB&D has become a champion of South Australia's alternative – particularly Mediterranean – varieties, exhibiting innovation at every step of the process by bending traditional winemaking norms. AB&D Winemaker Sam Berketa is most interested in finding exciting couplings between vineyard and variety, showing how New World environments can best interpret Old World styles, using small batch, minimal intervention and vegan friendly winemaking techniques. AB&D wines are now available all over the world in some of the best restaurants and cellars.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône Blends, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.