I love getting wind of new wine projects from Australia, but I also sometimes feel overwhelmed by how much new wine is out there. All sorts of things come across the desk, from exciting through to downright awful, and when one of my editors from Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine asked me to hook up with some of her winemaking friends from the Grampians, I felt I might be taking one for the team. It was a hunch that went wrong.
Sub Rosa is a winery to watch. The first releases have hit the market this year and are striking for their regional verity, (affordable) price points and deliciousness. Adam Louder is the winemaker, and has an enviable resume that reads like, ‘winemaker alongside Trevor Mast at Mount Langi’, ‘Chateau Araujo in California owned by Chateau Latour’, ‘winemaking at Xanadu and Pierro in Margaret River’ and the like. He describes his time with Mast as a kind of master and apprentice scenario. It’s all pretty darn potent.
Louder has eked out fruit from some vineyard sources he’s had his eye on for some time. He’s gone the garagiste route and fermented his first wines in flex tanks and dropped some staves in for when oak complexity is required. Natural ferments, no additions (likely couldn’t afford them yet even if needed, though Louder is decidedly committed to low/no intervention anyway) and though inspired by Mount Langi, not trying to make Mount Langi wines.
That being said, the connections are visceral. The vineyard that this fruit comes off one is the one where Trevor Mast lived. The fruit was handpicked, then friends dropped off from picking, got tired, had to go home, so it went slow, then slower again as the the press took 24 hours to work, then died, and in the end Louder borrowed Mt Langi’s press. Natural ferment, sent to a flex tank and a few staves were put in. It sat on full solids for 18 months.
Rich scents somewhere between nougat, ripe stone fruits, melon and ripe citrus. It’s really attractive and rich, but there’s a briny lift which keeps things more lively. Interesting any way. It’s slippery in texture, inwardly concentrated, big on grape flavour, rippling with ripe fruit but finishes with cool, refreshing, very natural feeling crisp acidity. This is delicious. Proper chardonnay. Run at it.
Rated : 93 Points
Tasted : JUN15
Alcohol : 14.5%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2015 – 2023