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2019 Gatch Wine & Little Bang Brewing Co. ‘Nero Nouveau’ Riverland

Such a new Australian perspective on Sicily’s most important red grape. Light, vibrant, cherry scented and detailed, pitched to take a chill, or not – this is required drinking.

Such a new Australian perspective on Sicily’s most important red grape. Light, vibrant, cherry scented and detailed, pitched to take a chill, or not – this is required drinking.

Tasting note

An immensely light bodied red, all bright red fruits, raspberries and cherries, with some dark cherry notes, too, this is vibrant and lifted, putting the fruit to the fore. But it’s not simple either, with a distinct baked earth savouriness, a hint of licorice, light spice and plum skin notes. This doesn’t have to have a chill, but it certainly wears it well, with tannins beautifully shaped to provide pucker without overt grip, acidity brightening without intruding. Delicious.

Themes of this wine

Riverland

Ten years ago, five years ago – less even – South Australia’s Riverland was not a name worn proudly on the front label of a wine bottle. It was in the fine print. Obscured, somewhat irrelevant. For Australia’s largest wine region, this may seem odd, but that anonymity was – and still largely is – part of the picture. While so many of Australia’s regions are about specific attributes, specific characters, the Riverland is the everyman, a hot-climate powerhouse of volume production, a champion of affordability and reliable consistency. But there’s more to the Riverland than that, with new growers and makers working with rather than against the heat to make wine of regional character and high quality

Nero d’avola

The principal red grape of Sicily, nero d’avola is incredibly resilient to the hot and dry climate, primarily producing mid-weight berry-scented wines with racy acidity. It’s no wonder, then, that the grape is gaining very firm traction in some of Australia’s warmer viticultural zones, with now over 50 wineries making their take on nero.

Whole bunch fermentation

Yep, the whole thing. If you ferment with whole bunches, you’ll get a different result. The stems add more tannin, and tannin with a slightly different feel in the mouth to grape skin or oak tannin. You’ll also get some of those berries fermenting more or less whole, which yields a brighter fruit profile.