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World’s first ‘purple wine’ expands range

An Australian company which launched what is claimed to be the world’s first ‘purple wine’ – a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend infused with organic, plant-based botanicals - and has now added a dry sparkling wine and Shiraz to its range.

Purple Reign, sold by Western Australia-based Masstengo, gets its vibrant lilac hue from the infusion of the botanicals, which are also designed to minimise the use of sulphites.

Bottled at 12% abv and sold in Australia for A$21 per bottle, the wine is a blend of grapes sourced from Western Australia’s Margaret River and Great Southern wine regions.

According to the Purple Reign website, it has ‘a hint of grass and a touch of minerals, with a perfect balance of natural acidity and freshness, complemented by a crisp, dry finish’.

The site adds: ‘The palate shows a textural mouthfeel, which lingers to a refreshing, earthy finish, with a subtle, flinty flourish.’

Purple Reign was launched at the 2019 Royal Easter Show in Sydney, with the entire initial production run selling out before the end of the show, Masstengo said.

Now the company has launched a Purple Reign dry sparkling wine and Free Reign, a more conventional-looking organic and preservative-free Shiraz from Margaret River. Both are priced at about A$25 per bottle.

Masstengo was established ‘to push the boundaries of winemaking with an aim to remove synthetic additives that cause harm in humans, such as sulphites, and replace them with safer, more beneficial alternatives’, the company website says.

Founder Tim Macnamara studied for a Masters in environmental sustainability and worked as a wine representative, while business partner Ross Stewart has a science background and previously specialised in organic, biodynamic and preservative-free wine.

Blue wines

In 2016, the Spanish makers of a blue ‘wine’ called Gïk fell foul of EU regulators, who ruled that they could not label it as wine. Gïk was produced using red and white grapes from Castilla la Mancha and Rioja, and was infused with a plant-based dye and sweeteners.

In 2018, another blue wine ‘Vindigo’ was launched in France.

Scientists claim to ‘re-create Montelena 1973’ with no grapes (2016)

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