In our digital age, the analogue remains a beacon for quality and craftsmanship. Think of the marvellous precision of a Swiss watch assembled by hand, for instance, or perhaps the inimitable warmth of vinyl sound. It’s only recently, though, that analogue has come to mean non-digital for us. The word has roots in an oft-forgotten meaning: ‘something similar to, or representative of, something else’ (analogous, in other words). So what’s all this got to do with wine? Everything, for Analogue Wine Merchant.
Founded by the folks behind on-trade distributor KOT Selections, this Singapore-based online wine shop draws its trusty name from an abiding belief in vine-to-wine. Helmed by Managing Partner Ong Yi Xin, Analogue brings in mostly low-intervention labels: vintages that are free from intervention by newfangled technological methods, and hence offer more vibrant expressions of the vineyard.
Each delicious wine, in this sense, is a testament to the unique convergence of people, place, and time which crafted its flavours – an analogue, if you will. That’s why all Analogue’s online listings come with nifty reads on the winemakers and region.
Bottles which tell stories from around the world – what better company for a picnic or cosy night in? With tons of online bottle shops in Singapore, Analogue makes an intriguing option both for natural wine lovers, and for those who like their wine to take them on a bit of a trip. And since we can never say no to a vino adventure, the Analogue folks kindly sent us globetrotting with a flight of six wines.
Our first stop? Veneto, Italy; the magnificent foothills of the Dolomites. Nourished by cool summer nights and dry weather, the 2016 Spagnol «il Fondo» Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Vino Frizzante (S$43) offers bright lemony whiffs to the nose. Its fizz is fine and teasingly subtle – a hallmark of its fermentation in the ancestral method – with a creamy mouthfeel cut through by crisp green apple notes. Squisito.
From Italy, we’re transported into the lush Loire Valley of neighbouring France. A harsh spring frost devastated most of Domaine de la Pépière’s crop, but you wouldn’t know it from their delightful 2016 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur lie (S$37).
Salvaged with grapes from neighbouring parcels, this Muscadet has more subdued fruit notes but a smooth, silky body. Bone-dry and fresh with hints of sea brine, all it needs by way of improvement is a plate of oysters.
Far west into the New World we go with our next wine, a Californian rosé – Edmunds St. John’s 2017 «Bone-Jolly» Gamay Rosé (S$55). 2017 was the year in which the long, cruel drought gripping California finally broke. No wonder, then, that this rosé sings of mild summers and balmy nights, with aromatic notes of cherries uplifted by a refreshing tartness. We bask in this same joyful freshness with the 2017 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot (S$46), an easygoing red born in California’s stunning Central Coast. Ripe and round as a blackcurrant bursting on your tongue, it evokes all the lushness of the Golden State.
For something darker and drier, we head deeper inland – the mountainous Alt Penedès of Spain, in this case. Biodynamically farmed in the cool heights of Penedès, Castell d’Age’s 2014 Tempranillo Crianza (S$39) boasts a pop of acidity which gives way to a plummy, earthy core. Swirl your glass and woodsy scents waft out, thanks to a good ten months of ageing in oak. It’s enough to make your mouth water for some grilled meats.
Rounding off with liquid dessert, we have a German Riesling – the 2015 Weingut Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Spätlese (S$62.50). This late harvest Riesling comes from fully-ripe grapes warmed in Goldgrube’s abundant sunshine, so you can imagine how sweet it skews (hint: very). It’s perfect for the sweet tooths, though light enough that it never gets cloying.
If the wines we tried are any indication, Analogue certainly stocks some good stuff – with an interesting tale or two to boot. We already know what we’re bringing to our next house party.
Analogue Wine Merchant products are available for purchase here.