Main & Cherry is probably how I’d (Jack) try to pronounce the word ‘sweetheart’ in French – the wines themselves though are much closer in beauty and elegance to Val’s French than my own. This particular double entendre is not the namesake of the winery, rather the location of the original family vineyard – Main Road in Cherry Gardens.
From their first site in the Adelaide Hills, where he grew up running around and tending to the vines, winemaker Michael Sexton and his family acquired and now live on a second site in McLaren Vale. These twin sources give Main & Cherry an enviably broad selection of fruit which allows them to produce a wonderful array of styles.
It is both the brilliant execution of classic winemaking techniques with traditional varietals, as well as his avant-garde small batch releases that saw Michael Sexton recognised as one of Australia’s top 50 ‘Young Gun’ winemakers.
It’s not so much the pursuit of perfection that drives Sexton, rather an insatiable curiosity – he is constantly adding, removing, and changing wines from the lineup as he dabbles in different experiments and plays to each vintage’s strengths. Some things are constant though – a chemical-free vineyard, a love of texture in his wines that see almost all of them remain unfiltered, and a commitment to highlighting the best fruit in all its glory.
White Pet-Nat (Riesling, Gewürztraminer)
The next time you’re publically gathering, pick up a bottle of this for your picnic. This is a textural aromatic bomb, with pineapple and citrus dominating the palate, and a bouquet of florals and spices. Pairs perfectly with sunshine, friends, and the Port Phillip sea breeze.
Red Pet-Nat (Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo)
If pet-nat isn’t French for ‘park wine’, then it bloody well should be. The wine is crisp and super juicy, with crunchy red fruits on show, lifted raspberry aromatics, and a refreshingly tart finish. One of those wines that will have you asking yourself, “Did we drink that whole bottle of wine?”
Is this the wine that sends Pinot Grigio the way of Sauv Blanc? Grillo is a robust Sicilian varietal which is perfectly suited to Main & Cherry’s meditteranean climate. Their iteration is your perfect wine with seafood, or on a spring day, or just because you feel like it. Bone dry with punchy acidity – waxy lemonds, almonds and white flowers are all on show in a textural wine with a faint hint of salinity on the finish.
There aren’t many things better than a plump and juicy Sang, and this one is definitely a cuddle in a glass. It’s got all of the classic characteristics – a nice leafy note, delicate spice, good fresh acidity, but what smacked us over the head was lashings of blackberry jam with a dollop of cream on top.
(In Val’s top 2020 wines – get some before she drains the supplies)
Adelaide Hills Shiraz
Shiraz from Adelaide Hills is criminally underrated – warm enough to get ripe and generous fruit flavours, whilst maintaining elegance and freshness. This is no exception – a full spectrum of dark fruits lays backdrop to florals and brilliant cool-climate peppery notes, with a delicate hint of licorice and black olive.
McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon
It takes something pretty special to get me (Jack) excited about Cabernets at an everyday price point, but this bad boy is a cracker. Unapologetically brash, it pours black and viscous – it reminded me of mopping up a shot of molten dark chocolate with my fingers as a kid. Blackcurrants and tobacco spice round out a weighty mid-palate, while five years of bottle age have melted the tannins to perfection.
Fancy some of these? Place an order at firstname.lastname@example.org or come by the store.