2021 Rosso Bianco, Pemberton Margaret River $35.00
Our 2021 Rosso Bianco (Red / White) is a blend of hand harvested Pemberton Pinot Noir and Margaret River Chardonnay. This juicy drop is a fruit forward, playful style – perfect for those days where you struggle to decide between white or red. It’s a delicate and joyful expression of Pinot Noir from the cooler southern forests, and the queen of grapes – Chardonnay. Delicate and silky red fruits (think raspberry and cherry) beautifully come together with soft spices. Chilled or not chilled, choose your own adventure with the Rosso Bianco – there are no rules.
Vibrant. Edgy. Focused.
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Inspiration for this wine came from the people! People who aren’t afraid to choose their own adventure. People who struggle to decide some days between having a white or red, and people who aren’t afraid to get a little chill on a red wine….
Although this blend of varietals and regions as still dry red is a rare expression in Western Australia, red and white varietal combos are not anything new, and certainly not ground-breaking. There is the famous Rhone, Shiraz Viognier combo, whilst the bend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay hail from Champagne producers. These examples are distinguished old world regions and classic, traditional wines, with our Rosso Bianco we are trying again to give a new world flare to varietals that have been blended for centuries. What we are trying to do here is not diminish or take away anything from the single varietals, but to show was a combination can do. Some would argue that these varietals don’t need a partnership, but Aristotle would say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We just say give it a go and find out!
Again, we continue to the challenge the norm, blending varietals not normally seen together as well as blending regions. Again, there are no rules when it comes to wine and that’s what makes it fun. This is a wine you can drink with or without food, chilled or not chilled, but it will always taste better when drunk with friends.
Lucky for us, the 2021 vintage came in behind a ripper growing season the previous year. The mild spring in 2020 made for great condition and a solid foundation for vintage 2021. In general, budburst and flowering was fairly normal, yields were slightly better than 2020 but still lower than average on the whole, and Marri tree blossom was around, which helped reduce the bird pressure. The unlucky part of vintage 2021 was the weather systems that resulted from La Niña and labour shortages due to Covid.
Weatherwise, the long-lasting cyclone season in the north west translated to increased rainfall in the south west – specifically in November, then again in February through to April. Fortunately, December and January were dry and warmer than normal months which allowed for some early ripening which raised hopes of an ‘easy’ vintage – that was until a combination of tropical lows and came in in late January and soaked the south west in February. As far as cyclones go, there were four names that will be embedded in the minds of viticulturalists – Joshua, Lucas, Marian and Seroja. Joshua started the rain dance in late January and Seroja finished the dance party in April.
The rainfall however was a pro and a con, it soaked deep into the soils and was great for later ripening varietals – particularly in our dry grown vineyards, however the warm weather combined with high humidity increased the risk of botrytis disease pressure. Fortunately, our model of spending more time in the vineyard than the winery paid off, with the extra attention given to canopy structure early on in the vintage. The effort put to shoot thinning, fruit dropping and leaf plucking was rewarded in good clean fruit.
Our general take on vintage 2021 was that although it was challenging and exhausting in the vineyards, the effort paid off with clean fruit harvested. Both fruit parcels for this wine were hand harvested. The Chardonnay was gingin clone and was sourced from a single vineyard in the Yallingup subregion whilst the Pinot Noir, a blend of clones 114 and 115 were sourced from a single vineyard in Pemberton.
As our Chardonnay is sourced from the northern Yallingup sub region, we were fortunate that it was ripe and ready to go before the first cyclone descended on the south west. The fruit was hand harvested in the first week of February, cooled, and the whole bunch pressed directly to a mix of new and older French oak barriques for barrel fermentation and maturation on solids. The Pinot Noir was harvested, almost two months later at the end of March. Again, this fruit was hand harvested and cooled on arrival before being crushed and destemmed to an open tank to ferment then pressed to three year old French oak barriques. After 6 months, the barrel nominated for this wine were blended together and botted.
For this wine, the focus was again on the purity, but also on the expressive aromatic profile, enhanced savouriness, and the soft and fine tannins that could take a bit of a chill.
In a glass the wine presents with a vibrant crimson red colour, appreciated clearly through the flint bottle. The nose is lifted and aromatic with cherry and red berry aromas mixed with a little spicy white pepper. The palate edges over to the savoury side of the spectrum with some silky but firm tannins and highlighted phenolics that provide for a thirst-quenching red wine with a difference.
Drinking Best2021 - 2023