RICCA TERRA BULLETS BEFORE CANNONBALLS
That the Riverland region of South Australia is now being re-imagined and reinterpreted is, in part, due to the efforts of one man – Ashley Ratcliffe. As a viticulturist, he knew that not only were some of the best Riverland vineyards undervalued but that many were planted with the wrong varieties for the climate. Over the last few years, these vineyards have come on stream with varieties like Montepulciano, Touriga, Arinto, Fiano and Nero D’Avola to name but a few. Ashley's Ricca Terra range is vibrant, quirky, cleverly made wines that have deliciousness as their raison d’etre. More than that though, they are a beacon for the future sustainability of a previously much-derided region and it is to Ashley’s credit that other serious producers are now taking fruit from here.
Rather than a mass planting a new grape variety and then learning how it behaves as a vine and as a wine, Ricca Terra Farms’ approach has been to plant small plots of a new grape variety; then watch, wait and learn (firing bullets). When the right bullet is identified, the cannonball is loaded and fired……meaning the grape variety is introduced into Ricca Terra Farms’ grape variety portfolio. Hand pruned and hand-harvested. VSP trellis. Drip irrigation.
The grapes selected in this blend were hand-picked and then placed in a cool room immediately after harvest to preserved fruit quality (cooled to 4 degrees Celsius). The Nero d’Avola, Negroamaro and Lagrein were co-fermented together (approximately 10% whole bunch). The aim in making this was to allow the fruit flavours dominate, therefore only three-year-old oak barrels were used to store this wine.
Dark ink colour with some opaqueness. The scrummy dark nose of liquorice, plum, cola and black fruits, ending with a hint of smoke and tobacco.