The Hidden Sea Proves Cork-Bottled Wine Is Overrated
If you thought you've tried the best wine on the planet, then you haven't had wine from the south-eastern hemisphere of the world. Luckily for those unable to afford a plane ticket to visit an Australian wine region, the palette-friendly artisan wine, The Hidden Sea (THS), is making it convenient for the wine lover in you. With its diverse portfolio of wine types, the one-of-a-kind vino collection is not only made from specially grown grapes, but the story behind its bottles is pretty unique.
In a tiny part of the nearly 13, 300 square mile South Austrailian region known as the Limestone Coast, there lies a 26 million-year-old whale fossil under the rich and fertile soils of THS' closely-monitored vineyard, bringing a natural filtration system to their grape harvest.
"The Hidden Sea is deeply rooted in the history and environment of the Limestone Coast. All our vineyards are free from pesticides." - Justin Moran, Founder of The Hidden Sea Winery
The VIBE staff recently had a chance to try the wine for ourselves. Upon the first sip, we couldn't help but wonder how each bottle manages to taste so fresh, even without the typical, romanticized corked-bottle packaging.
When asked about the year-long wine-making process, The Hidden Sea founder, Justin Moran, shared just how the "enticing aromas of licorice, cassis, blueberry" and more stands out in their award-winning Shiraz wine or how the "layered flavors of peach, butterscotch, and lime" rises and hits the senses from their classic bottle of Chardonnay.
"The small berries are picked in the cool of the night & crushed before cold soaking for 4 days. During this cold soaking period, gentle pump over-extracts the lovely juiciness," he reveals. "Thoughtful yeast selection & careful cap management during the cool ferment adds complexity to the wine while capturing the proud expression of the vineyard. The wine [is then] transferred to fine gain new french oak barrels for maturation. After 12 months, the best barrels [are] racked and blended to tank for blending, fining & stabilization before bottling."
Aside from its earthy and welcoming fragrance, we noticed each bottle's lack of the stereotypical cork and questioned whether the wine was really made in the year etched on the side of the bottle. Believe it or not, screw caps are not solely a domestic or American way of packaging a bottle of wine. "Compared to cork, screw caps reduce the wine faults of oxidation and of cork taint. Screw caps have a much lower failure rate than cork, and in theory will allow a wine to reach the customer in perfect condition, with a minimum of bottle variation. Depending on the cellaring time, however, it’s commonly known that 1 in 12 bottles with a cork will spoil." Based on the pallette-friendliness of this newly opened bottle of cabernet sauvignon we're trying, it's evident that this fact is far from false.
— The Hidden Sea (@thehiddensea) November 21, 2016
While packed in black, glass bottles and white, whale-stamped and digitized hand lettering, The Hidden Sea's premium wine comes in 5 other grape varieties - Semillon sauvignon blanc, riesling, merlot, rose, viognier. One of the popular bottles, shiraz is available online for $24.95 at WineExpress.com.
Lastly, with the holiday season around the corner, 6-pack cases (as well as the gift pack below) can be ordered directly from The Hidden Sea's official website. For every case sold, THS donates $2 to organizations dedicated to helping preserve the earth’s seas and remaining wild places. Who knew a cork-free bottle of wine would turn out to have an interesting?
Well, now you know.