AV ‘nails’ low alc wine with new technology30th July, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
Australian Vintage is launching a new red and white reduced-alcohol wine which the producer says will set new standards for taste in the 5.5% abv category.
Called Summer Light, the new wines will be officially unveiled in mid-August and comprise a Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, both at 5.5% abv to benefit from the lower duty in the UK at this alcohol level.
“We know we’ve nailed it,” said Julian Dyer, general manager for the UK and Europe at Australian Vintage about the two new wines in an interview with the drinks business last week.
Although the Australian producer launched a 5.5% Moscato called Vinni in October last year, it has been absent from the fast-growing low-alcohol still wine sector in the UK because Dyer said it was hard to get a good enough flavour at 5.5%.
“We are coming into the 5.5% category a bit later than the others because to date we haven’t been able to deliver the quality that’s right,” he commented.
Continuing he said, “But we have done benchmark tastings and without question Summer Light is the best tasting – the wines are actually in balance and still taste like [standard abv] wines.”
A particular challenge for the producer according to Dyer was the red 5.5% Shiraz, and he believes Australian Vintage is the only winemaker to have created a really palatable 5.5% red, which, he added, spends a period in oak barrels to bring some wood-derived sweetness.
The wines will be priced at £5.99 and Dyer told db that Australian Vintage has already achieved two listings for the Summer Light range, which will be on shelves in the UK in September, and will be sold under the company’s Miranda brand.
Key to the producer’s development of more reduced-alcohol wines has been the adoption of the latest type of the spinning cone alcohol removal technology.
At a cost of AU$1.8 million, the new version is the first to be fitted in Australia and allows alcohol extraction to take place at a lower and less damaging temperature of 42 degrees Celsuis, which is 20 degrees lower than the standard technology.
More information on the new range, including an interview with Australian Vintage’s chief winemaker Thomas Jung, will appear in the upcoming August issue of the drinks business.