Temple Bruer Wines

Temple Bruer Wines

While the French and the Americans are still fighting about what it means to be an “organic” wine, there are some up-and-coming Australian producers who are kicking goals with “preservative free” styles of popular varietals; wineries like Temple Bruer in South Australia who are not only organic but also vegan friendly.

I hadn’t ever had the privilege of sampling wines from Temple Bruer until a friend of mine dropped a bottle of their 2018 cabernet merlot to me and insisted that I try what was his “go to” drop when a decent vino was called for. And I have to admit to being a little underwhelmed by the plain pastel label, and perhaps cynical about the claims front and centre that the wine was not only organic, but “preservative free, carbon neutral and vegan-friendly”. What kind of tree-hugging hippie outfit puts that kind of stuff on the sticker?

Like any amateur sleuth, I quickly performed a few internet searches to check on the provenance and background of the wine only to discover that it’s actually a blend of fruit from the Fleurieu Peninsula, Barossa and Riverland districts of South Australia. The Temple Bruer team insist that in the vineyards, their approach is to minimize cultivation and to use sustainable practices; “Because damned be the day we can no longer ask the earth for the grapes that give us the good drop. So Temple Bruer demands a standard that shores up our bright, clear agricultural future by saying no to the use of any synthetic chemicals throughout our grape-growing, and later wine-making, processes.”

Like many biodynamic viticulturalists, the Temple Bruer crew mulch and grow legumes under vines, use organic alternatives to fungicides and encourage natural predators to pests. But what is probably of greatest interest to disciples of organic winemaking is that there are no preservatives used during the vinification process and to the extent possible, is a sulphite free zone. They claim that “thanks to our bottling technologies, we’ve been able to replace sulfur dioxide with attention to detail. We can ensure minimal oxygen interacts with the wine and create a product that is as fresh as possible, without unwelcome preservatives that can cause harm to your ‘temple'”. A lot of people insist that organic wines don’t give them a headache like the preservative ridden alternatives; though I’m not yet sure that I’m a believer!

And all that minimal intervention talk is well and good, but I suspect that most of us couldn’t give a hoot unless the end product was also lip smacking and palate pleasing; so how did it road test?

Well at first, I’d have to say that when the stelvin was broken and the first glass poured, there was a definite tightness and astringency to the nose – a character that was also present with the initial swirl and sip. But after letting it settle for an hour and returning to the Reidel it was a totally different experience; gone was the acerbic edge but instead there were delightful blackcurrants, licorice and even a touch of maraschino cherry. The once vocal tannins had also settled and the lusciousness of the fruit persisted across the finish and ended with a wave of tannin landing on a beach of ripe dark fruits. At only $22 a bottle it’s great value – but be sure to decant or give it time to settle if you want to enjoy this Temple Bruer blend in all its natural glory.


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