Over the past few years, the wine shelf at your local supermarket or liquor store has fast become a revolving door of “flash in the pan” new wine brands. Claiming to be “lifestyle” or “entertainment” brands, these wines are made to fill a commercial spot on the shelf, rather than have a genuine place in wine drinkers’ hearts.
However, the launch of The People’s Wine has defied this current trend. Whilst looking unconventional on the outside, it marries the elements of great winemaking - artistry, sophistication and most of all, fun. Taking the workings of Hawkes Bay artist, Martin Popplewell, and combining the very best varietals that the New Zealand and Australian wine industries have to offer, this month, M2Woman took a closer look at The People’s Wine to see what is making the wine public stand up and take notice.
Challenging, quirky and just a little bit irreverent, each back label features a unique, hand-sketched pie chart, telling its own story of how the wine comes together in the bottle. It is because of these nuances that we can only agree - The People’s Wine is most definitely handcrafted, inside and out...
The People’s Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Distinctly Marlborough, the People’s Sauvignon Blanc is a wonderful example from the Awatere Valley. Adorned on the front label by a leaf that Popplewell found in the vineyard and first sketched on a napkin, this wine has a juicy palate of citrus and tropical fruit. Bottled young to retain the zingy freshness, the wine is balanced with a steely minerality...
The People’s Pinot Gris 2011
With a tractor icon on its front label, Popplewell was inspired by the sheer hard work it takes to establish and maintain a vineyard. The stuff in the bottle, however, shows a softer side, with a vibrant nose of signature stone fruit and spice. A rich and weighty mouth feel ensures there is plenty to satisfy, with flavours of peach and baked apricot. A wine with a little something for everyone...
The People’s Chardonnay 2010
With its previous vintage winning Gold at the New Zealand International Wine Show, this Chardonnay comes with big wraps. In the glass, pineapple and lime notes come to the fore, with an intriguing butterscotch finish. Decorated with a cheeky black swan, there is no doubt this wine has serious attitude.
The People’s Pinot Noir 2010
Finding the warm and sheltered pockets of land that allow grapes to reach full flavour ripeness is essential in the harsh conditions of Central Otago. The Alexandra vineyard that grew these grapes is one such special place. Bright fruit characters of dark berry and plums are underpinned by hints of smoky oak. Described on the label as a perfect match for “film, fire and friends”... Well, we couldn’t agree more.
The People’s Shiraz 2009
The odd wine out in this New Zealand line-up, The People’s Wine stays true to the promise of giving people what they want with this fine Barossa Valley Shiraz. Deep purple in the glass, blackberry and plum feature on the nose, with the palate delivering a ripe and lingering finish. Silky in texture, this wine will be a favourite amongst red drinkers...
The People’s Merlot 2010
True to Popplewell’s artistry, this wine has an amazing deep blood red colour and purple hue. A rich nose of plum and liquorice are backed by a palate of dark berry fruits and slight hints of coffee. A simply delicious wine, this is a fine example of Hawkes Bay Merlot.