I really like how Abel Gibson approaches his winemaking. There is a very considered, thoughtful approach to everything that he does in his winery. A sense of wonderment at being able to use the grapes as a canvas to paint an accurate picture of both the prevailing vintage conditions and the stylistic vinous image he has floating around in his noggin.
Many of you will be familiar with his gorgeous red wines: Fluus, Timaeus, Efferus and Archaeus. All red blends featuring the same grape varieties: Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz. The actual percentages of those three varieties differ in each wine, some contain a splash of Cinsault and have differing amounts of whole bunches in the mix but the result is always the same: delicious.
The Ruggabellus red range (photo: Dave Brookes)
Now he is taking that idea to white wines. For the newly released trio of whites, Gibson is working with Semillon, Riesling and Muscat. Again, like the reds, the percentage of each variety depends on the wine, as does the amount of skin contact and the results are striking.
The wines – Sallio, Quomodo and Solumodo – are vastly different. The Sallio is as deeply hued as apricot nectar and exotic with souk-like spice, sweet tannin and is heavy on the umami. The Quomodo is higher–toned showing a little more restraint and a distinct sapid, savoury edge while the Solumodo is a deeper, more resonant wine with stone and tropical fruits with spice, gingerbread and a single-malt Scotch like complexity to its tail.
If I was you, I’d try all three, but at this stage the Quomodo is the one to search for, but all are alluring and fascinating drinking experiences.
RUGGABELLUS 2014 Quomodo