By Fergal Gleeson
Mon Tout is a small batch winemaking project started in 2013 by Burch Family Wines to make natural style wines low on sulphates and other additions.
They created a type of charter for Mon Tout Wines: No or minimal sulphur dioxide added, no added yeasts or acid adjustment, no fining or filtering.
“There was a lot at stake for us,” says Winemaker Janice McDonald. “Howard Park has built a reputation. So the quality and style had to be right. On the other hand this was a big opportunity for us because Mon Tout was on a smaller scale. We could have a play and experiment!”
She admits the first attempt at a Shiraz was a blunder. “It was undrinkable!”
“Making a low intervention wine requires lot more attention” she says. “You need to watch carefully as the wine can very quickly move to unpalatable and unpleasant. We don’t make natural, low intervention wines to be hip. We want to make a wine that we enjoy drinking.”
Now Mon Tout is very much in the groove gaining high points from critics and appearing in restaurant wine lists around Australia. The Mon Tout range includes a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé and Shiraz. They are a very well made and well priced collection of natural wines.
“The wines will taste and look differently,” says Janice. “It will be a furrier and not as bright. Different flavours come through. You can settle a wine naturally with time and gravity. Some people like cloudy wines though.”
The Chardonnay will please cloudy fans. It gets progressively cloudier as you move through the bottle.
Should all wines be natural?
“Wine is fairly natural but it’s a question of what the market is prepared for. We stabilise wines largely for aesthetic reasons,” she says. “Some people complain if the wines has crystals on the bottom. Interestingly amongst high end wines it’s common that there is no fining or filtering. The rise of natural wines has made winemakers more confident to be low interventionist. We can educate the public that the wine doesn’t have to be bright and that it’s OK to have different flavours!”
More at http://www.montout.com.au