2017 Alpha Box & Dice Golden Mullet Fury
Why would you name your wine after the mullet? A hairstyle popularized by the Beastie Boys, who sang about it in their hip-hop classic “Mullet Head.” (Cut the sides,” the song’s lyrics go, “don’t touch the back.”)
The Alpha Box & Dice Winery of South Australia call one of their wines Golden Mullet Fury. It’s an extended skin-contact white wine made from Semillon and Viognier, with pithy and precise textures up on top and long, heady flavors at the back. Kind of like a mullet.
Golden Mullet Fury belongs to what Alpha Box & Dice calls their Alphabet of Wine, a collection beginning with every letter of the alphabet, each of them representing distinctive styles of South Australian wine. While each of their wines has its own personality, Alpha Box & Dice creates all of them holistically, intervening as little as possible in the vineyard and the cellar.
Along with its South Australian terroir, Golden Mullet Fury also owes its personality to the winemaking culture of Moldova, a country — like those of Armenia and Georgia — with thousands of years of history making extended skin-contact white wines. These styles of wines — popularly referred to as Orange Wines — combine slinky textures with sweet, persistent tannins. These are white wines made using red wine cellar practices.
The Semillon and Viognier for Golden Mullet Fury come from Connor’s Farm, a beachside vineyard in McLaren Vale. The plot’s soil is comprised of sand, limestone, and clay, all of which yield a wine with a distinctive briny character. The grapes are co-fermented on their skins in a single vat for three weeks, then aged in used barrels for 18 months.
The result is a blonde bombshell of capsicum, guava, and butterscotch aromas, with a waxy texture and roasted almond, spicy orange marmalade, and rich marzipan flavors. This is an Orange Wine which is both faithful to its ancestry and truthful to its terroir. A bold, rich, and creamy wine. An Orange Wine that’s business in the front, party in the back.