Thierry and Guy Le Freak Shiraz Viognier 2005 (£6.99 a bottle)
5 things Le Freak has learnt from Australian wine:
- Unlike most French wines, the name of the varieties are right upfront: Shiraz Viognier.
- No pretentious pictures on the label. No Chateaux, no rambling brooks, pencil sketches etc etc
- Strongly branded with bold, modern text “Le Freak”.
- No blaring of region except in small print on back: Vin de Pays D’Oc. So de-emphasised, I nearly missed it.
- Shiraz and Viognier, although traditionally French, is insanely popular in Australia. And when I mean insane, I mean – why?
5 things Australian wine can learn from Le Freak:
- Easy to remember name based on song (prompting you to sing, Le Freak, C’est Chic! in the bottle shop. Or is that just me??)
- The tasting notes asks you to “chill” the wine – this definitely should happen more in Australia. Especially red wine. Although I wouldn’t have thought to chill a Shiraz Viognier, even on a hot summer evening.
- The Viognier is not too heavy-handed.
- Only 13 % alcohol – not a fruit bomb like most Australian Shiraz Viognier at 16% alcohol!
- It looks kinda cool and not too try-hard. Although Australia is very good at making fun of itself! So maybe this is not a good point.
Overall, this red is a bit of a Freak in the traditional French wine market. But is this the future of French wine? To become more accessible, more Australian?
This has to be the most Australian tasting French wine I’ve ever had – full-frontal fruit, although it falls away very quickly on the palate.
But has it thrown the baby out with the bathwater? On the second glass (always a good test of new world wines), it blands out. Perhaps it needs the alcohol and more Viognier to give the fruit some oomph to carry on into the second glass. And that’s a big thing for me to say, as I’m not one for big alcoholic wines.
I spy Foster’s Eye Spy wines here – in marketing and flavour. Which in comparison, are not freakish enough.
Eye Spy wine