When grown in stony, shallow, dry, difficult sites, Grenache captures a form truly unique in the world of fine wine. It presents as a wine with strict and abrasive tannin but manages to retain a twisted joy of fruit throughout the wine as if mocking the nature in which it was brought up.
Gigondas grows such wines, and wines from Gigondas were the inspiration for the 2016 Turkey Flat Grenache, a wine that I made, and the wine that won the 2017 Jimmy Watson trophy.
I started working with Grenache over 10 years ago in the Barossa Valley. Grenache and its eagerness to please immediately resonated with me. The question that arose for me was why is Grenache so underappreciated?
Grenache’s problem is that it tries to be too much and succeeds, you ask and Grenache will deliver. Because of this, it has been the workhorse for many wine regions around the world. A little water and some generous soil and yields abound, supplying growers in otherwise marginal areas with decent crops and decent livings because of it.
The story that this success suppressed was the ability of Grenache to produce truly fine wine. Grown in regions that few other varieties would survive let alone produce fruit suitable for vinification.
Grenache’s ability to reflect its clone, site, how it’s grown and made is near unparalleled.
Bulman Type was created from an opportunity to blend my own version of a Gigondas, an opportunity that I’m truly thankful for. Thank you to all involved for your support thus far.
The logo for Bulman Type takes its shape from my surname, Bulman, the bull is missing a horn as Bulman is missing an ‘L’ due to an illiterate farmer, from whom I’m a descendant, in the 17th century.
‘Type’ is a reference to wines of Australian history that took their names from the regions/styles they were trying to replicate, ‘Burgundy Type’, ‘Claret Type’. An Australian winemaker blending their own version from Gigondas seemed like the perfect application of ‘Type’.
Growing up in the Adelaide Hills and not from a family involved with wine, I developed a love for wine through of an appreciation of science and good food.
Gaining my degree at Adelaide, I went on to work in wineries, vineyards and wine shops around the world before settling in the Barossa Valley, gaining employment at Turkey Flat Vineyards at the end of 2008. It is at Turkey Flat where I’m still employed as Chief Winemaker and where my love of Grenache truly took hold.
Gigondas, is both a town and an appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) within Southern France. The town itself, is truly beautiful, nestled into the unique local geographical feature, the Dentelles de Montmirail, mountains formed from the folding of Jurassic limestone by volcanic activity 250 million years ago.
Set in the shadow of the cooling Mont Ventoux, these mountains are what make Gigondas truly unique, giving the vineyards altitude and soils different to that of the remainder of the Rhone Valley.
The daytime warmth of the Mediterranean, the night time cooling from altitude and nearby Mont Ventoux, as well as the skeletal and differentiating soils provided by the Dentelles de Montmirail, combine to create an environment ideal for growing Grenache suited to making fine wine.