Miles from Nowhere’s Origin of Now range seeks to build on the winemaker’s 40-year reputation.
After nearly 40 years in the business, Miles from Nowhere’s Franklyn Tate would be the first to admit his reputation has largely been built on making solid, good value wines at affordable prices.
So, when three new wines crossed my testing desk recently with price tags of $90, I was a little surprised (to say the least).
The wines are part of a completely new icon range called Origin of Now, made up of a cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and chardonnay sourced from vineyards throughout Margaret River.
My first take on these wines is that they are damn good.
Mr Tate said taking Miles from Nowhere into the super-premium zone was a big step that came as a result of engaging former Cape Mentelle winemaker Frederique Perrin as director of winemaking.
Of course, the major hurdle is that the Miles from Nowhere brand is synonymous with very well-made budget-priced wines, many of which are sub-$15.
The essential thing is to disrupt this perception, which Mr Tate has chosen to do with clever branding and packaging, which includes labelling and bottle shape.
Mr Perrin was of the view that, with the fruit sourcing available through the various vineyards Mr Tate had acquired throughout the region, the time was right to head into this new territory and build these small-volume, high-quality wines.
Mr Perrin is a strong devotee of Margaret River.
“Margaret River looks like nothing else,” the French native said.
“It behaves like nothing else. It’s not Burgundy, it’s not Napa, it’s not Bordeaux. It’s not comparable to anything else and the expression here is different to anything else in the world.”
Each year begins with a blank canvas: no rules, no compromise and no predetermined view of what wines will be chosen.
It all comes down to the fruit, which is assessed before deciding which varieties and which vineyards will be chosen for the wines.
“Every vintage will be completely different, since there are no rules, every vintage will be about expressing what we think is the best of Margaret River that year,” Mr Perrin said.
In each case, the techniques have been chosen to maximise the quality of the fruit.
And, in most cases, it is a largely traditional technique that adds just enough winemaking influence without compromising the expression of the region and the vineyard.
As you might expect, these wines will mostly be available in restaurants, but a few of the better liquor stores in Perth are certain to have them.
Miles From Nowhere Origin of Now chardonnay 2021 ($100)
There is a purity and naturalness about this wine, largely a result of winemaking approach of pressing straight to oak, wild fermentation, full malo and ageing for 10 months before being bottled unfiltered. Lemon curd and brioche with almond meal and a trace of jasmine. The palate is textured and controlled with a very long finish.
Cellar: 10 years
Miles From Nowhere Origin of Now shiraz 2021 ($100)
Some interesting techniques have contributed to the energy and vibrance of this wine. For instance, after open fermentation in concrete, viognier was added, and a small amount of whole-bunch carbonic maceration used before maturation in both French and American oak. Smooth and elegant with a supple velvety palate after the aromatics of the viognier infused nose.
Cellar: 14 years
Miles From Nowhere Origin of Now cabernet sauvignon 2021 ($100)
A traditional winemaking approach has been taken here, including open-top fermentation and extended maturation. The best and most complete of any wine I have tasted from Miles. Deep and concentrated blackcurrant with added rich complexity from the black olive, dark chocolate and slight graphite nuances. Had about 17 months in French and Hungarian oaks. Has a dry chalky finish.
Cellar: 18 years
- Ray Jordan is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected wine journalists, contributing to newspapers and magazines over more than 40 years. In 2017 he co-authored The Way it Was: The History of the early years of the Margaret River Wine Region