2014 Lino Ramble ‘Tom Bowler’ Nero d’Avola

Tip of the hat!

After some twenty years working as a winemaker for other wineries locally and around the world, Andy Coppard took a leap of faith in 2012 to start his own label in Lino Ramble. Producing small batches of minimal intervention style wines sourced from various vineyards in  McLaren Vale, he’s quickly created something quite unique to the region which is currently undergoing a change of face.

Traditionally focussed on premium Shiraz, McLaren Vale has started focussing on the unique terroir that dots the area like a patchwork quilt from the sea to the foothills. Now a plethora of varietals can be accessed in the one region, from traditional Rhône, Bordeaux, and Vouvray, a good mix of Spanish grape varietals, through to both Northern and Southern Italian, including this Nero d’Avola – indigenous to southern Sicily.

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Hand harvested, whole-berry open ferment with wild yeasts, basket pressed,  and unfined, this certified bio-dynamic Nero was grown in Whites Valley, just south west of McLaren Vale proper.

Coming in on the lighter side of deep ruby, medium aromas of red currants, blackberries, and plum display prominently alongside herbal notes such as saltbush and sage. Yes, this wine leans towards the ‘natural’ style with additives at a minimum and a touch of sulphur joining the party right at the end.

Drinking the wine is a savoury experience with those same herbaceous top notes and a leathery earthiness apparent, carried along by a rich berry and kirsch undertow with a hint of dark chocolate. Being only a medium bodied wine with well integrated tannin structure, it drags out to a surprisingly long finish for such a young and vibrant wine.

This wine shows great character of where it was grown on a hilltop in southern McLaren Vale. Vibrancy and rich red fruits from the long hot days, underpinned by rich berries, dark chocolate, and leatheriness from the cool nights and seabreezes.

Young and vibrant, but with a complexity and richness to it that commands respect, enjoy it today in it’s youth, or put it away for a few years to allow the savouriness to sing a little louder.

FOOD: Enjoy over an extended afternoon session with a charcuterie board of cured and smoked meats, duck rillettes, sourdough, and cornichons.

MUSIC: Early FOALS – young, vibrant, but commanding respect

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