October 22, 2019|In Winery Spotlight

A Bohemian, a Poet and a Dancer Walk into a Wine Bar…

Rose wine being poured

The Bohemian Project is doing things a lil’ differently…

They’re not quite a winery. They’re not quite a vineyard. What they are is a collection of like-minded wine lovers who came together – an amalgamation of all things great about wine.

The cornerstone of Bohemian Wines is collaboration. Head Bohemians, Puneet Dhall & Brandon Nash, collectively have over 30 years experience in the wine industry and they never stop searching for the essence of great wine. After starting up Dhall & Nash together in 2007, they realised they were in a unique position where they could appreciate and see so many different ways of making wines from so many wonderful corners of New Zealand, and each of these were the signatures of winemakers they’d grown to personally know and respect. They knew who they considered to be one of the best Pinot producers in the country, and a woman who was seemingly a jack of all trades and master of all… And so an idea started to form, a vision of curating the best of the best and letting these masters do their thing! A platform where they are free to experiment and create to their heart’s content.

And so came along the Bohemians – The Bohemian, The Poet and The Dancer. A red, a white and a rosé. A collection of beautifully crafted wines from hand-picked masters of craft around New Zealand, who breathe life into characters and notes and bottle them up to present to you.

First came ‘The Bohemian’ flagship Pinot Noir – made by Schubert’s own Kai Schubert in the Wairarapa. Anyone who knows New Zealand Pinot knows Kai is the cream of the crop. In 2015, Lisa Perrotti-Brown of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate named one of his Pinots as one of the Top Three NZ Wines, where his Pinots were described as “beautiful, perfumed and earthy”.

Then came ‘The Poet’ Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris. It is made by Julianne Brogden of Collaboration Wines – a highly celebrated New Zealand winemaker with a passion for food, travel and art. She’s been touted as being one of New Zealand’s real ‘up-and-comers’ and frankly, she makes mind-blowingly good drops. She has brought to the table an artfully crafted, refreshing wine, offering delightful aromas and flavours as its recital.

The ‘baby’ of Bohemian is ‘The Dancer’ Hawke’s Bay Rosé. This is something we are incredibly proud of and excited to have in our portfolio. Also made by veteran Bohemian and fan-favourite, Julz from Collaboration Wines, she worked with Bohemian to create something utterly unique – a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Viognier – unusual and compelling, gorgeous, savoury and so bohemian. We haven’t stopped talking about it since it was released, we simply can’t help it.

An interview with one of the winemakers, Julz Brodgen…

We sat down with Julz, the winemaker for this smashing Rosé as well as ‘The Poet’ Pinot Gris to get her take on everything…


What was it that attracted you to the idea of working with the Bohemian Project?

“I enjoy crafting wine for people to share with different cuisines, and most importantly family and friends. To me, wine brings people together, it is a time to sit, enjoy, talk, contemplate, catch up or celebrate an occasion, it is a way of life.

My own personal portfolio is focused on Chardonnay and Bordeaux Reds so when the Dhall and Nash Team approached me to make the Bohemian Rosé and Pinot Gris it was a chance to do something different. I love to craft small batches of wines that are textural, layered and complex, wines that make you want to sip and savour. To be able to use my winemaking skills and apply them to these two wines was another challenge. I am a hands on winemaker and work solely in the winery throughout the year, so it was an opportunity to source and work collaboratively with like minded growers in Hawke’s Bay and have the backing and support of Dhall and Nash with the same passion, commitment and vision to wine growing.”


What’s special about your Bohemian Pinot Gris?

“I will be honest… I have never liked drinking Pinot Gris unless it was reasonably dry, had lovely acidity and interesting… so I made a promise to myself that this wine needed to tick those boxes and bring on board like-minded people, also to be approachable and encourage regular Pinot Gris drinkers to try something a little drier, interesting and textural.

The fruit comes from a beautiful hillside vineyard in Central Hawke’s Bay, Lime Rock. Rosie and Rodger – the proprietors – do a meticulous job of managing this vineyard. The Pinot Gris is grown on volcanic soil over limestone. The resulting wine exhibits a chalky texture and salinity, with fresh aromatics and a lovely backbone of acidity, finishing dry but with plenty of body and texture.”


What’s special about your Bohemian Rosé?

“A very unique, intriguing blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Viognier. The grapes are sourced from a little vineyard situated on the border of the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa growing district. Hand picked at different times in individual batches. Directly pressed as whole berries… Blended and Bottled.”


What’s something you want drinkers of your wine to think the second they pour a glass?

“Sit back, relax and enjoy with fine food and great company!”


Can you tell us a little about the process of making a Bohemian wine with you? What goes on in the vineyard?

I like to pick the grapes with high acidity so the resulting wines have good acid backbone... I want the wines to be elegant and restrained.

I constantly taste and blend so I cease the yeast fermenting in each wine with a nice balance of fresh acidity and enough sugar to add slight body and texture yet still tastes dry to the finish. With both wines I want an element of savouriness, texture and interest, not just fruit driven wines so I am slightly oxidative in my handling, with minimal SO2.”


What’s your personal all-time favourite wine to sit down with at the end of the day?

“Something a little different, whether it be from a different country, producer, blend or varietal. A wine that is going to make me think and discover something new…”


What would you say was the perfect song match for your Bohemian wines?

“I can’t say I could choose one song… however album would be NZ Artist, Nathan Haines and the album “Shift Left” an older album but recently re released on vinyl.”

2019 Bohemian ‘The Dancer’ Rosé
“Luminescent pale pink colour. A blend of syrah, cabernet franc and viognier. Crisp, dry and delicately flavoursome rosé with raspberry, cherry and subtle crushed herb flavours. A good food wine with attractive and refreshing acidity.”
Bob Campbell (90 points)

2018 Bohemian ‘The Bohemian’ Pinot Noir
Lush, dark summer berry aromas come dancing from the glass, bringing with them notes of plums, exotic spices and liquorice. A smooth and lush entrance of dark plum and forest berries on the palate greets you before introducing an array of spicy notes. Star anise, cloves and an intriguing pepper tone leads to the savoury, mineral core and a delightfully balanced finish that lingers.

2018 Bohemian ‘The Poet’ Pinot Gris
Fresh, green notes adorn the perfume, adding a crisp undertone to the sensory ballad that is ‘The Poet’. Red apple skin, honeydew melon, lychee and ginger account for the rest of this fruity and aromatic composition. A dry character, ‘The Poet’ does not exhibit sweet notes, but instead offers a firm, tight and linear palatable tale, with textured fruity notes of red apple and honeycomb taking the centre-stage. Hold the applause.
NZ International Wine Show 2019 (Silver Medal)