You may be wondering if Tahbilk can offer a lower alcohol red which still satisfies the palate, with equal quality and style, to the current wine offering? Most of our reds are under 14% alcohol but for those which aren’t this is why.
The reason why some of the Tahbilk red wines are 14% is to get maximum flavour out of the grapes when they are harvested. As most red varietals develop their flavours late into the harvest the fruit is picked later and at a higher sugar level, the high sugar levels translating to higher alcohols.
It is very rare to find a red wine that is less than 12.5% alcohol, most ranging between 12.5 – 14%, the average palate probably not appreciating the lower strength reds as they usually lack the body and complexity on the palate compared to the 13.5 – 14% range.
In relation to Tahbilk and Dalfarras we always pick the grapes on flavour and not their potential alcohol. At Tahbilk, although the red wines can sometimes be on the higher end in terms of alcohol, they are extremely well balanced and fruit driven wines. So, although the alcohol content may seem high it definitely not an evident flavour sensation you would attach to Tahbilk or Dalfarras wines.
At this stage there are no plans for Tahbilk to offer a lower strength wine under the 12.5% alcohol for reds or whites.
Our only wine at the moment which is low in alcohol is the 1927 Vines Marsanne which is a usually between 10.0 and 11.5 %. But unfortunately these grapes are picked as green fruit which is why they are so low in alcohol and require 10 or more years of bottle maturation prior to consumption, to drink now they would be to acidic on the palate.
As you would notice with most low alcohol wines, not Tahbilk, some artificial sweetener is usually added to make the wine palatable.
So the trade-off needs to occur somewhere.
Please drink in moderation!