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Slankamenka Bela sure is a mouthful of a name and luckily it is a delicious mouthful of wine.
For convenience sake, Amato Vino main man Brad Wehr has nick-named his unique offering “Bela”. She’s an ancient variety from the Balkans who has found a home, like so many other long forgotten grapes, on Ashley Ratcliff’s estate at Ricca Terra Farms in the Riverlands.
It’s a delicious, full-flavoured and not all confronting in style. The initial 2015 release received some great reviews and Brad reckons the ‘16 is a step up again.
Interesting, delicious and one of a kind!
What It Tastes Like
Stone fruits and some apple and nashi pear characters. Some soft citrus blossom notes and a whole lot of mouthfeel. There is a soft creaminess to the palate with makes it excessively drinkable. Yum.
92 points & special value star. “The second instalment made from the Balkan variety slankamenka bela. Wild ferment in stainless steel on lees 3 months, unfined/unfiltered so it’s ever-so-lightly cloudy. It’s salty, tastes of preserved lemon and daikon. It has texture, neat phenolics and is mouthwateringly fresh.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
Yep, you heard right – Slankamenka Bela, an ancient Balkans grape variety found flourishing in the Riverland of Australia. Or Bela for short..
Handpicked grapes from Ricca Terra Farms family vineyard, wild-fermented in stainless steel tank before bottling fresh in July. Unfined, Unfiltered.
Some tropical pineapple and guava on the nose, also apple/pear – fresh and zesty. A textural palate, a touch creamy – showing stonefruit, guava, quince and nashi pear. Hints of spice and vanilla weave in and out, with a note of nuttiness. Excellent length of palate.
Enjoyed with or without food.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Alcohol: Drink Until: 2020
About the Producer
Brad Wehr’s Amato Vino label is equal parts traditional and experimental. His Wine By Brad and Mantra labels exemplify the best of classic Margaret River varieties while the Amato Vino label showcases some of the most exciting experimental wines in the country. From innovative winemaking techniques and emerging varieties the eclectic and innovative, Amato Vino is a name to watch in the West.
The sky is the limit for the new look Riverlands. Known historically as a place for producing bulk wine grapes, there is plenty of exploration happening in this region. It is the ideal place to trial new varieties for the country, the warm dry climate suiting many Mediterranean varieties to a tee.
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