Battle Island

21 Mar

Uncorked by Andrew B.

Battle Island – that is all it says on the front label. And what an odd label it is too. A night time view of a lake, in the foreground a red haired girl looking at her reflection in a puddle. She has a raven on her shoulder and leaves are falling from the tree. OK so far? Next to the backgrounds tree, detail-less as they are shadowed are a dinosaur, one of those head statues from Easter Island and a winged totum pole. Yep, it lost me as well.

The rear label doesn’t yield any great revelations. For its main statement explains that “This is not an explanation to join the storyline find”. Shame that url doesn’t load anything; perhaps it is hidden somewhere, hence the use of the word ‘find’. Or I’m reading to much into it!

Battle Island is a Shiraz-Cabernet Blend from South Australia, 2009 the vintage in my hand. IN small type it is explained that it has been produced by Some Young Punks, an outfit with a great grasp of marketing. I mean this particular oddity got me to buy the wine afterall.

Some Young Punks offer some great labels and names for their output. A sparkling shiraz, that unique Australian invention that oft divides opinion, goes under the name of Naked On Roller Skates for example, with a blind-haired beauty skating down a road. But those hoping for a little titivation will be disappointed; do you really think anyone, anywhere, is going to allow nudity on an alcoholic drink?

Some Young Punks go for the cartoon, pulp fiction, style big time. Double Love, Squids Fist… all depicted on their fun website. But like the missing details for Battle Island sadly lacking in anything meaningful. Meaningful that is if you really want to know the grape mix in each bottle, the alcohol content and so on.

But here it is all about the labels. I love them all.

“The ethos is simple, self-centered, and just a little arrogant. We make charismatic wines that are true to what we think ‘wine’ should be about. If someone doesn’t like the way we do it then they had better put the bottle down because there’s already not enough to go around.

Each wine, each vintage, and each label is a moment that will never come again – a winemaker should only ever promise to be consistently good, never just consistent. Each time we make a wine it may be the last wine we make – and if it isn’t worthy of being the last then it will never wear the Some Young Punks name.”

As for the Battle Island Shiraz-Cabernet… it is just what you would expect. Ripe and decent in that bold Australian manner, highly drinkable, one to share, one to wonder at the oddness of the label, maybe not give the actual wine too much attention, but to enjoy it for what it is; preferably without a raven on your shoulder or a dinosaur in the background.

– Andrew Barrow

Andrew is the writer of the blog ( which has been around, in various guises, since the invention of the medium and its sister, more food oriented blog, SpittoonExtra (  . Over the years has written for various websites covering wine, food and drink with a focus now edging towards travelling to and through various wine regions (especially since writing for the Via Michelin website). Also contributed to two book projects last year. Travels extensively and has developed a particular passion for documenting his travels through the art of photography; which is a rather pompous way of saying he takes a few, half decent, snaps. See

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