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WINES BY REGION

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Ruggabellus

The 2013s mark the fourth release for Ruggabellus (meaning rugged beauty), and owner/winemaker Abel Gibson  has in my opinion produced his best wines yet.  This year all of the reds from the vintage are being released simultaneously, allowing for greater comparison between the varying blends.


The focus of the range is varying blends of Grenache, Mataro, Syrah and Cinsault in various proportions, each with its own personality.  Whilst the wines have been inspired by European wines (southern French and Spanish especially), importantly they celebrate the unique characteristics of the Barossa.  A natural, biodynamic approach to the wine making, minimal additions, different levels of whole bunch fermentation and no new oak give these wines an earthy, almost ethereal qualityand purity of fruit.  Definitely not your typical Barossa style and yet inherently Barossa!  Perhaps most noteworthy is the amount of oak - or more precisely, lack of oak - these wines impart.  No new oak is used whatsoever, and only older barriques and larger vessels are used for fermentations and maturation prior to release.  Fruit purity is paramount.

It is also interesting to witness a slight stylistic shift too - and speaking with Abel last year it is clear that his experience in previous years is giving him greater confidence in selecting particular parcels of fruit for different handling techniques.

Abel is certainly a product of the Barossa Valley, with winemaking history running through his veins.  His father worked for Penfolds for many vintages (and today runs his own label, Gibson) while Abel himself has worked alongside Rocky O'Callaghan at Rockford, Chris Ringland, Charles Melton, and Pete and Magali at Spinifex, as well as with his father over many years.  So he's certainly had no shortage of mentors from which to draw inspiration and knowledge.

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