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Bring Back The Funk
Why Timo Mayer? Generally speaking, you can’t really go wrong with a single vineyard Yarra Valley wine. But if you want to really grab someone’s attention, make sure it’s a bottle of Timo Mayer. Why? It’s excellent wine, embodied with a strong sense of place, by a winemaker with strong ideals.
Winemaker: Timo Mayer Timo Mayer was born in a small German town to a family with over a 400 year history of winemaking. While this seems like destiny, it took a little longer for Timo to be convinced winemaking was for him. For a winemaker so rapt in whole bunch techniques and ‘the funk’, it is curious he landed in Yarra Valley, a region not known for these styles of wines until Timo showed up. Establishing his ‘Bloody Hill’ vineyard in 1999, Timo has been known as a pioneer for experimental winemaking in Yarra Valley, while also cementing himself as one of the region’s most colourful characters.
We love this wine because…
From the oldest gamay vineyard in the Yarra Valley, this is Timo Mayer’s whole-bunch/carbonic-maceration handwork. But this is not your easy-smash-down fiesta. Cherries both sweet and sour, pepper and spice, stalky tannins, raspberry and acid. Chill it down and let it unfold. Wait for a bit. Ok, now try it again.
In Timo Mayer’s words: “We don’t do back labels and barcodes. Bring back the Funk.” Cheers to that. Unfined and unfiltered, this chardonnay is one of Timo’s true expressions of Yarra Valley land. Intense grapefruit and citrus peel, lemon pith and yellow peach, lingering acidity. Wines of character, from a character.
“…Whole bunch pinot wasn’t particularly popular in Yarra Valley, until Timo made it popular.”
'No back labels, no barcodes'
Vineyards Timo Mayer’s wines come from the property he calls ‘Bloody Hill’, which features densely planted vines, along with his house. While the majority of the vines are pinot noir, picking grapes from different areas of his property will exhibit different characters from varying levels of elevation and aspect. Low yields mean that his wines are always in short supply, and allocations are few and far between, especially considering 40% is exported.
Winemaking Philosophy Timo Mayer’s signature style is whole bunch fermentation and a hands-off approach, trying to give as close a sense of the vineyard the fruit came from as possible. It’s a simple enough concept, but one that proves difficult to perfect, especially considering pinot noir is infamous as a difficult and fussy grape. Perhaps that’s why whole bunch pinot wasn’t particularly popular in Yarra Valley, until Timo made it popular. His mantra of ‘bring back the funk’ is one he sticks to. His philosophy of ‘no back labels, no barcodes’, is another sticking point, much to the dismay of distributors and retailers. However, with his cult-like status well and truly formed, these commercial inconveniences are forgiven. Additionally, the wines he makes in partnership with friends back in Germany are another even rarer treat if you can get your hands on them, showing the magic may not only be held in Bloody Hill, but also in the man himself.
We love this wine because…
It’s cabernet but not as you know it. Wild and free, this is Timo Mayer’s 100% whole bunch ferment of Yarra Valley cab sav. We weren’t expecting such elegance, then we remembered, this is Timo’s wine. They’re as timeless as they are intriguing. And this is dressed in light pepper, savoury fruits, and sweet prettiness.
Timo Mayer’s drops come from a small farm operation, producing handcrafted, single-vineyard wines. This is an interesting sangiovese from brunello clones. Full of flavour and tannin, you can expect blue fruits, all the cherries, herbs, and aniseed. If you want something different from the Yarra Valley, keep this on your wish list.