Wine review: Milton Estate Crazy By Nature Shotberry Chardonnay 2011

If I had to describe winemaker James Milton of Milton Wines I would probably say “crazy by nature” – in a good way.  I had the joy of chatting to him at the RAW wine fair in London last year (I actually ended up interviewing him, but had to leave London and had left my tasting book at work, long story). I have a hazy recollection of thinking we were going to talk about wine/wine making and we ended up talking about philosophy and approaches to life in general, something about, “the train pulls in at the station, some people just get on and aren’t fully aware of where it’s going…..” or something along those lines. I do remember coming away feeling refreshed and enlightened. I do remember loving his wines.

Milton is all about growing naturally, no chemicals, no bullshit, no shortcuts – their ethos is here – Milton grew organic grapes way back in 1984, light-years ahead of the competition.  They were also the first winegrowers in the Southern Hemisphere to practice Biodynamic methods (think burying a cow horn of fermented shit, following the natural rhythms of the sun and moon type of thing).  Getting certified Organic and Biodynamic is no easy task, it takes years of sustained practice.  Biodynamics take the organic approach to the next level. Some people think it’s a load of crap, some people think it works – it works for Milton Estate.

Their Shotberry Chardonnay is indeed a shot. A shot of intense fruit flavours backed up with a lovely limey acidy and spice.  Is it sweet? Is it savoury? A bit of both actually. It’s complex, on my first taste I wasn’t sure if I liked it, there was a lot going on. It has a lovely tropical floral nose, very delicate. So I felt unprepared for the fruit hit that followed, then the spiciy acidity on the back end. Yes it is flavourful, however the clever finish balances the wine very nicely.

I picked this up for $15 on special from Faro, on the website official RRP is $20.

Visit and if you can get to Gisborne, NZ to visit the winery in the flesh do it; and if you get ever a chance to talk with James Milton, do it.

Unusual, fantastic and a little bit crazy.  Seems appropriate to share the quote and video below.

 But we’re never gonna survive, unless, We get a little crazy – Seal

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