Despite Patrick’s preferences I will classify Patrick Sullivan’s Jumpin’ Juice as a natural wine for assessment. It is a hint brown and a bit hazy to look at. The colour might be owing to the blend. In fact that it contains any combination of Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc. It smells of brown spices, plums, tart red fruits, a chocolatey/lactic/mocha element, a hint charry/smokey. The palate is tartly fruited, with a nice line of flavour carried by the driving acid. There is a lot of plushness on the finish and is quite clean. It is savagely moreish. There are a few tingly tannins in there but you hardly notice them with food or when you don’t aspirate too much. I think this is delicious and Patrick is right, forget about the labels and just enjoy it because it is in your glass.
Patrick Sullivan is a man who isn’t afraid to follow his heart. He travelled. He dropped out of a winemaking course because he didn’t think he would use the information they were teaching. And he has ended up making wines with as little intervention as possible. He now has his own vineyard to source most of his fruit. But Patrick also works with organic or biodynamic growers to make his Jumpin’ Juice wines . Previously he worked on the Thousand Candles vineyard The most important thing to Patrick is the fruit, if that is perfect then the wine doesn’t need him to do much at all. His wines could be described as ‘natural’ but he would rather you just enjoy the wine as a drink. Hence the label that is remarkably free of marketing terms.
A region that is just too big to generalise about. The difference between Upper and Lower Yarra can be the ability to ripen some grapes or not. Great wines are made in the Yarra but it is best to know the producers.