Related News

Home » Feature » iDEAL

Sweet Aussie drop with low alcohol pleasant surprise

THERE are times when preconceptions actually work against you, and it is very much the case with this wine. I have been avoiding for a long time Brown Brothers' Cienna, a varietal developed by the company by crossing the Spanish sumoll grape and the sturdy cabernet sauvignon for a low alcohol product.

The grapes are picked at a potential of 12 to 13 percent alcohol but fermentation is capped at 5 percent. This results in sugar going unconverted and making a sweeter wine.

I was initially expecting something vile like the German Dornfelder, but, boy, was I in for a surprise.

It was also meant to be sweet, but I expected this to mean cloying and sticky. Instead it was light and refreshing and, frankly, rather delicious.

The orange peel on the nose and the strawberries on the palate were just the ticket for a hot summer's day, while the light mousse made it not unlike a Moscato.

There are few occasions where a Cienna, costing about 155 yuan (US$22.7) and distributed by ASC Fine Wines, would be out of place, but it would be sure to shine with sweet and sour flavors or even spicier foods.

Perhaps Hunan cuisine might be beyond its reach, but some Sichuan could definitely be met head on by the wine's sweetness.

I sat next to Ross Brown, CEO of the family-owned business from Australia, at lunch the other day and he told me that this was "probably the first red wine where people say they really like the taste."

While he was unable to say if the wine fared better with emerging markets or in sophisticated markets looking to try something different, he pointed out his comment came from listening to customers who wanted something sweeter.

Love or hate the winery, which makes wines from virtually every grape found in Australia, it makes drinks that people actually want and that goes a long way in bringing new aficionados to the fold.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend