Gourmet Traveller Wine - A Cask of Thousands by Mike Bennie
Cool cask wine? Look no further. The recent reinvention of Australia’s famed, innovative packaging has been given credence by the likes of Delinquente Wine Co, Latta Vino, Jilly Wine Co, Gonzo Vino, Trutta Wines, Saddlebag Wineand Yalumba’s Winesmiths range, with Hey Tomorrow slotting nicely into the clique. While the volumes are relatively small compared with established cask wine brands, the cachet is high in these more avant-garde releases.
Stylish packaging catches the eye with Hey Tomorrow, its sleek design perhaps the most ambitious on the Australian market. The cast of winemakers is also eye-catching, with Dom Valentine (formerly Oakridge, now Valentine Wines), Ray Nadeson and team from Lethbridge, Philip Lobley of his eponymous project and Adam Foster of Syrahmi. The wines are vintage releases, eschewing typical blends, with top-flight wine the motif.
Hey Tomorrow also makes a commitment to sustainability with the packaging, and 50% of profits going to the Carbon Farming Foundation, a charity that focuses on greenhouse gas reduction in the Australian agricultural sector.
Foster says: “I jumped onto the opportunity and really wanted to put one of my best wines possible into the format. It’s great to see a commitment to quality in cask.” The 2019 Hey Tomorrow Syrah by Syrahmi, A$60, comes from Foster’s top-end vineyard resources in Heathcote. It’s a seriously good expression, perhaps the pick of these releases. Fragrant with white pepper, game meat, charcuterie and herb scents with ripe, rich raspberry fruit characters set amongst that suite of aromas. Flavours are similar, tannins shapely and the length is serious. I’d wager this is one of the best wines to hit a cask in the history of the format.
The 2020 Hey Tomorrow Rosé by Valentine, A$50, is a pitch-perfect park and picnic rosé. It’s produced from Yarra Valley pinot noir and has loads of perfume, fresh flavours and a mouth-watering freshness that delivers huge drinkability. Expect a bit of strawberries and cream, blood orange tart-sweetness and a little smudge of tannin giving structure. A true delight.
Pinot noir is the theme for 2020 Hey Tomorrow Pinot Noir by Lethbridge, A$75. There’s hallmark earth, spice and undergrowth characters that followers of Lethbridge will find familiar. The palate is crisp, loaded with red berry fruitiness, and licked with mint and eucalyptus freshness. While the texture is washy, this tightens up nicely in the fridge, where I suspect this wine will find a home in most people’s kitchens.
Merlot and pinot noir underpin the Philip Lobley wine from Yea Valley. The 2020 Hey Tomorrow Nouveau Red by Philip Lobley, A$55, is a bit more dry reddy, savoury, earthy and smoky than what I’d call a nouveau style, and feels a bit rugged and dull compared with the other three wines on offer from Hey Tomorrow. There’s an assumption the bushfires of 2020 in Victoria have made an impact here. That being said, drunk cold, the wine has some charm.
By Mike Bennie - Featured in Gourmet Traveller Wine Oct/Nov 21