One grape variety that seems to fit the ‘autumnal’ bill is the venerable Nebbiolo, and this example from Tonic in the Adelaide Hills is no exception.
It’s a fickle little bugger to get right is old mate Nebbiolo; tricky in the vineyard and winery in equal measures but over the last handful of years, we are beginning to see some cracking example hit the shelves and it pleases me to say that our own Adelaide Hills is leading the way.
This little baby comes from the Bowe Lees vineyard in Woodside and the production is tiny — 44 dozen tiny. So you are unlikely to see it floor-stacked next to the registers at your nearest big-box boozatorium. That said, it is worth popping your head into a friendly independent wine retailer or indeed, the winery website and tracking a bottle down because it is the shizzle.
Lots of cool winemaking geekery involved in getting this to bottle… extended time on skins (95 days) and the practice of ‘ripasso’, passing the 2016 juice over the freshly pressed skins of the 2017 vintage Nebbiolo for three weeks before pressing back to old French Oak to add an extra dimension to the finished wine.
It’s light in colour and beautifully fragrant with sappy edged, pure cherry and cranberry fruit with hints of spice, purple floral tones, sweet leather and notes of Amaro herbs and Turkish delight fluttering around further in background.
In the mouth it is weighted just so; the characters from the nose neatly transposing to the palate, which is pure, juicy and savoury at once. Balanced, delicious and easy drinking with a delightful sappy cherry and herbal vapor trail to finish. Lovely.
TONIC 2018 Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo