Ruggabellus Release

Ruggabellus Release

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This year's highly anticipated release from Abel Gibson is finally here.

A deep connection to the land of the Barossa Valley underpins Abel Gibson's winery. Raised amongst the vines of the Barossa, the cellars of Penfolds and Rockford, with the guidance of local wine legends such as Charlie Melton and his father Rob Gibson, Abel has carved a unique path for his brand.

His latest release is arguably a new high watermark for this much-loved champion of the Barossa's avant-garde.


"What a suite of wines this 2016 white and 2017 red wine Ruggabellus release is. I’ll go on record saying it’s been the best/most interesting/satisfying collection I’ve seen in the calendar year..."
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)




The Ruggabellus reds focus on sensitive blends of old vine Syrah, Mataro, Grenache and Cinsault from great old vineyards with freshness and vitality always the key.

Oak is never new. Additions are minimal if at all.

The 'whites' are some of the country's finest examples of skin contact 'amber' wines. These curious creations are all variations on a theme: Riesling, Muscat and Semillon in varying amounts with varying times on skins.

The latest releases are entirely world class.

These are rare and truly authentic Australian wines.

Abel's wines are in extremely high demand after the incredible recent reviews from The Wine Front's Mike Bennie and allocations are limited.

If you want to experience the compelling new releases from Ruggabellus, now is the time.

 

Shop Ruggabellus Now...

 

 

 

The Reviews From

The Wine Front's Mike Bennie

 

 

2016 Sallio
96+ points
"Arguably Australia’s greatest orange wine, let alone that it’s a great wine. If orange wine is an intimidating phrase or proposition, then let’s just say this is a profound, textural white wine. The detail and care to bring this to life is epic, notwithstanding its elder siblings in Quomodo and Solumodo are outstanding too, and born from equal consideration. Winemaker Abe Gibson looks to nth degree in vineyard and winemaking expression. The shepherding to bottle, and patience, is worthy and vindicated clearly. So many producers seem to rush skin macerated white wines to market, this could be the benchmark for those on the learning curve. And look at that pricing…

More or less equal parts semillon, muscat and riesling from old vines, spends an average of 3.5 days on skins, but there’s larger and smaller time frames in the mix. Rests on lees for a year, then just as juice for a year. Gush, gush, gush. See for yourself.

Profoundly complex wine with its texture distinct and superb. It sits assertive in the palate, a sense of sculpted chalk with an inward juiciness and a distinct array of primary fruit and savouriness intermingled. Reverse up to the bouquet, if you can keep your mouth off the glass, and there’s brown lime, sea spray, blanched almond or nut milk, ginger and preserved citrus boldly jostling away. That drive and precision across the palate is the thing, though, and the pool of saline and tonic tang to close the clincher. A crawl over glass kind of wine."

 

 

2016 Solumodo
96+ points
"The ‘dark orange’ wine in the trio of Ruggabellus’ orange wines, alongside Quomodo and Sallio. This is 68% semillon, 28% riesling, 4% muscat with an average of 236 days on skins, though the semillon component sees a full year of skin maceration. The wine hits the market a full two and a half years after harvest. Remarkable patience offset against a culture of impatience and ready to drink mentality in some of the avant garde sects of Australian wine. It’s the full textural experience here. It deserves cellaring or time in decanter, and then some. Old vines, low yields, careful selection of fruit underpin the winemaking story.

Chewy, chalky, powdery texture blast across the palate with mature citrus flavours, dried apple, ginger tea and chamomile characters reverberating between bouquet and palate. While sniffs on the wine parlay complexity, savouriness, ‘tonic’ and non-fruit character, the palate convinces you both can co-exist. It’s mouth-watering, tasty in the way any detailed wine can be, exceptionally long, speaking of fine wine with a punky ethos. Hello Vivienne Westwood. The thing is, the more you spend time with the wine, the more you realise you’re drinking a wine in Acts – a wonderful thing too. Superb wine made from white grapes."

 

 

2016 Quomodo
95+ points
"What a suite of wines this 2016 white and 2017 red wine Ruggabellus release is. I’ll go on record saying it’s been the best/most interesting/satisfying collection I’ve seen in the calendar year, to use a pithy landmark in a non-linear scheme. Baseline is, if you like great wine, fine wine, or wine from one of the most progressive and thoughtful winemakers going around, then you’ll find yourself sitting in front of one of these bottles.

This is 95% old vine riesling with a splash of the Sallio 2016 semillon and muscat in the mix, for perfume and texture, or seasoning. The riesling component spends two years on lees – something else. About six days on skins too. Always tinkering and re-touching is Abe Gibson, When I think of Abe Gibson’s winemaking I imagine him as if using tiny paintbrushes on those miniature models Warhammer freaks paint on as if a fetish. Regardless, this results in one of Australia’s new era, great white wines.

So much going on here in such a compact and succulent frame. Perfume is voluminous showing ginger, honeysuckle flowers, sweet lemon and faint talc-like scents. The palate rushes in a chewy flow of citrus tangled with chalk and almond. There’s bite of acidity under it all too – a thirst-quenching sluice acting as counterbalance to the Flavour Town of primary fruit. It’s delicious, intellectual, fantastic to pore (pour) over, and over." 

 

 

2017 Efferus
95 points
"This would be one of the lighter, finest expressions of the mataro-dominant Efferus I have seen, and syrah and grenache hold around 20% of the wine in 2017 (plus a splash of cinsault). The mataro that makes up the bulk of the wine comes from a tiny plot and old vines. Only 125 cases were made. The attention to detail, to be a broken record, is of course all here. No Timaeus was made in 2017, by the by.

The first thing you notice, once past the briary, dark berry, anise-tinged, slightly smoky, black olive perfume, is the powdery, translucent feel to the wine. It’s not so much ‘light-on’, as there’s plenty going on in the palate, but ethereal, or something akin to that. It spreads in the palate on a film of dust and brambly-berry flavours, ashen and savoury, drawn very long and leaving barely-there fruit sweetness in its wake. Tannins form a wide sheath and acidity is underlying in a sense of vitality and freshness. It all sounds odd, if you read this straight, but it’s a compelling wine of wild character yet delicacy. Drinking is a charm."

 

 

2017 Fluus
93 points
"The cuvee name ‘Fluus’ is kind of onomatopoeic to me. Fluuuuusssss. Such flow. Such drinkability. A lush blend of 60% grenache, 24% mataro, 15% syrah, 1% cinsault of which a portion would have been Timaeus, but the Timaeus wine was ‘declassified’ as, to paraphrase winemaker Abe Gibson, the grenache block presented too much in the way of green flavours, which he links to a wet spell in the growing season. Whatever the case, no Timaeus from 2017. Fluus gets bolstered, however. And it’s a cracking drink for the bucks.

Texture is important here, so silky, soft too, feathery tannins just a breeze over the slosh of dark plummy fruit and then a kiss of almost tactile, peppery spice. Lovely stuff. It has that sense of heartiness without tipping into full on, supple in the mouth and dreamy with its kiss of sweet fruit and herbal stuff to close. Just so. A delightful balance between the richness and freshness. So. Easy. To. Drink. And fantastic."