2022 Ravensworth Velo Flor Rose

Experimental Rose aged under Flor, inspired by the French, produced from Canberra.

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Description

Not something we see everyday, Rose aged under flor from the hands of Canberra maestro Brian Martin.

The complexity derived from flor ageing is quite a singular character, that provides such unique flavours to wine. Nebbiolo and Barbera combine here and aged around a year under the ‘veil’, with results that are distinct and delicious. Heady and powerful, there is a nutty, floral and biscuitesque flavour profile here, yet the palate still retains freshness, and is full of fruit.

These are the kind of wines that we need to champion in Australia, winemakers who step beyond the boundaries of convention, and bring us wines that are unique and delicious - boundary-benders so to speak.

Each year we put aside some time to experiment with a potential new product. Wines like the Seven Months, our Riesling Ancestral have become part of our staples via this fun part of the year. Back in 2017, after trying this lovely rosé from France, one that had spent time under a flor yeast, we thought yep, let’s do that.

Not an easy thing to do it turns out. Flor yeast are very sensitive and difficult to grow as they won’t do so in conditions it finds competitive. They can’t compete with acetobacter, other yeast strains preservatives, wine that is too acidic or not acidic enough, noisy places and certainly don’t like being moved or disturbed in any way. It’s like trying to mate panda’s, as I say, a challenge.

The AWRI yet again came to the rescue, with the supply of a know strain, isolated in 1947, and some handy instructions on how to grow them.

After some lab time and finding a quite place to set up the barrels we introduced our new flor culture to 6 ullaged barrels of 2017 Nebbiolo rosé. The flor took to five of these, the sixth now a vinegar mother, and they sat in a quite cellar for almost two years, untouched, untopped and, worryingly, untasted.

This is the follow up batch, 2021, these 6 original barrels, now fully infected with flor, are their own biosphere, freshly pressed juice from Nebbiolo and Barbera was run into this environment and fermented out (FYI, Flor is a saccharomyces strain so can ferment sugar as well). Post primary the flor occupies the surface of the wine creating a veil that ever so slowly consumes the alcohols of the wine and protect the surface from other spoilage microbes like acetabacter. Not as long under flor, just a year so we can rotate the barrels annually.

Think of it as a sherry or sake, drink with salty and/or fatty foods.

Very limited

Ravensworth

Bryan Martin is one of the most creative and inquisitive winemakers we've ever met. After leaving his position as winemaker alongside Tim Kirk at Canberra regional flagbearer, Clonakilla, Bryan went full steam in on his own label Ravensworth, which has firmly hit cult status amongst collectors.

He and his wife Jocelyn have a beautiful property outside of Murrumbateman which is home to all of their excellent Estate wines and Bryan also searches surrounding vineyards and out to the Hilltops region to compile his excellent value Regional series of wines. Sustainability and an unwavering commitment to quality across the board underpin the entire operation at Ravensworth. Perhaps best known for his benchmark Shiraz Viognier and textural Rieslings, Bryan is also arguably the country's best producer of Sangiovese and is a true master of the dark art of skin-contact whites.

Bryan embodies everything we love about small artisanal Australian producers. He is humble, irreverent, committed to the pursuit of excellence and always looking to explore. Quite simply, if you see a Ravensworth wine anywhere, you should buy it.

Winemaking wizard, Bryan Martin Discover Ravensworth Wines

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