Let’s start with the first glaring question: what the heck is poppelvej? This Danish word refers to the street where brothers Jens and Uffe Deichmann grew up. It translates literally to “the street of poplars.”
This charming name is contrasted with the inky, self-deprecating humor that seems to underpin each label. If the Poppelvej wine lineup were a high school clique, they’d be the post-metal rock kids who stay up too late at night listening to Tool and reading Animal Farm. The names that adorn these wines are the likes of “Dead Ohio Sky,” “Vicissitudes of Life,” and “Zoonotic Spillover.” The influence of the Led Zepplin and Tool eras is undeniable, but it doesn’t stop with the naming. Music is unquestionably the Deichmann brothers’ muse in the cellar, as each vintage’s wines becomes an embodiment of its harvest anthems.
Poppelvej’s wines are as raw as the music that inspires them. The grapes come from carefully chosen sustainably farmed sites in McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills. The wines are vinified without additions (besides very minimal sulfur in some instances) in a little shed in McLaren Vale, and bottling occurs without fining or filtration. Their lineup leans red, but they have an exciting Viognier and a whole-bunch pressed Mourvèdre rosé that ferments in a concrete egg. These are honest wines that beautifully and purposefully mirror the spunky whims of their creators. Established in 2016, Poppelvej is still in its nascent phase as a brand, and the future looks as bright as ever.
Wine Notes: This is the debut Meunier from the Danish boys. Uffe ventured deep into Summertown in the Adelaide Hills in search for the fruity Pinot. Uffe has a Pinot Noir addiction in that he cannot stop drinking it nor looking for new vineyards from which to express through his minimally handled winemaking. This wine was Jens way of helping to tame this addiction and put the Meunier bug in Uffe’s ear. Much like Robert Plant begging Jimmy Page to lay off the heroin in the song ‘In the Evening’, this was a very different sort of pleading. And it was lyrics from that song that inspired ‘Dancing in the Doldrums.’
The fruit was handpicked from the Oak Bank Vineyard and left fully intact. The fruit was fermented in plastic picking bins entirely whole-cluster and foot-stomped daily for the first five days of ferment. After a little more than a week on skins the wine went dry and it was pressed to neutral French barriques for aging on the gross lees. After five months with monthly battonage occurring the wine was then racked to a stainless-steel tank where settling occurred naturally and then bottled by hand without fining or filtration and just a small sulfur addition.
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