It’s not an unfamiliar story for a top sommelier or restaurant/bar owner to be lured into decamping from their night job and setting up shop on the other side of the fence, making wine. Nor is it uncommon for a sommelier to dabble in making wine, to greater and lesser degrees. What is less typical,…
Andrew Scott La Petite Mort
A love of wine was fostered early in Andrew Scott’s career, although it took some years to take stubborn control of him. While racking up a formidable resume in restaurants in Adelaide, including a stint at The Chesser Cellar with Primo Caon and another with James Erskine (Jauma) at Augè – old-school and new-school legends right there – then in Noosa, Scott dipped in and out of education, with hospitality and, more significantly, wine eventually winning the tussle.
Glen Robert of Bent Road Wine, in Queensland’s Granite Belt, shifted Scott irrevocably towards the dark side, when a chance meeting led to Scott sitting in on Robert’s MW training group. One thing led to another, and when infrequent ten-hour round trips to the winery – to help and to learn – from Noosa to Ballandean turned into fortnightly trips, the die was well and truly cast and Andrew took up an offer to become the assistant winemaker.
While Scott somehow finds time to be deeply into completing both the feared WSET Diploma and his Diploma of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University (5th year currently, by distance), he also takes the mike for Bent Road’s La Petite Mort label: “These small batch, experimental wines are produced with minimal wine making intervention and put into bottle without filtering or fining to allow the raw essence of our experimentation to shine through.”
Scott works without additions, bar a minimal amount of sulphur and varies his methods to suit fruit and objective, neutral oak often, new oak occasionally, but amphora (Georgian qveri, to be exact) more and more frequently. Skin contact on both reds and whites is a feature, and he is also experimenting with sous voile (under a protective ‘veil’ of flor yeast, think Sherry or the Jura) maturation and even maderisation, intentionally and for the right reasons.
Scott’s description of his most emblematic wine (the LPM ‘VMR’ – viognier, marsanne and roussanne) perhaps best sums up his philosophy: “It is an orange wine. It is a cloudy wine. It is an amphora wine. It is a minimal intervention wine (unfined, unfiltered, SO2 only). But most importantly it is a clean wine and is free from winemaking faults. And this is what I’m all about – old-school, funky, alternative wines are fun and exciting and interesting and educational to make and to drink but none of this is an excuse for poor winemaking.”