Blend: Tempranillo, Lagrein, Aglianico & Shiraz
From: Riverland, South Australia, Australia
Ashley Ratcliff is one of the Riverlands most forward-thinking viticultural minds. After leaving Yalumba to set up his own Riverland vineyard, he began investigating the potential for obscure alternative varieties in his chosen region. Varieties that retain acidity in the heat, such as Fiano and Arinto have struck a cord, as well as Nero d'Avola, Negroamaro and Tinta Barocca which thrive in warmer climes. His Ricca Terra Vintners label showcases these interesting varieties and their suitability to our climate. Whether straight varietal wines or creative blends, every wine is deliciously approachable and superb value for money. Ricca Terra was named one of the Top Ten Best New Wineries in the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion.
Ricca Terra is located close to the township of Barmera, South Australia, which means “water place” or “land dwellers”. The soils throughout the region range from sandy loam to red earth over limestone (traditional terra rossa soil). The words Ricca Terra translates to rich earth in Italian, which describes the soils in the Barmera region. Ricca Terra is made up of ten individual vineyards, all of which were established during the solider settlement scheme (the soldier settlement scheme was an Australian Government program that provided small plots of land between six to ten hectares) to soldiers that returned from the first and second World Wars.
Rather than a mass planting a new grape variety and then learning how it behaves as a vine and as a wine, Ricca Terra Farms’ approach has been to plant small plots of a new grape variety; then watch, wait and learn (firing bullets). When the right bullet is identified, the cannonball is loaded and fired……meaning the grape variety is introduced into Ricca Terra Farms’ grape variety portfolio. Hand pruned and hand-harvested. VSP trellis. Drip irrigation.
Today, Ricca Terra is made up of a patchwork of grapes varieties. While French varieties once dominated, they are being replaced with grape varieties that originate from northern hemisphere regions, such as Sicily, Spain & Portugal which have similar growing conditions to the Riverland. Varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Vermentino, Fiano, Touriga Nacional and many others now find themselves at home at Ricca Terra.
The "Bullets Before Cannonballs" concept is something Ash has used extensively during his time in the Riverland. The idea being, you shoot loads of 'bullets' - small trials of new varieties - and when you see one excelling you light the fuse on a cannonball and go deep on that variety.
It's a methodology which is yielding great results for Ricca Terra Farms. This wine is a fiery blend of the red varieties that have excelled for him so far: Nero d’Avola, Lagrein, Montepulciano, and Tempranillo. The finished wine is flush with dark fruits and exotic spice.
The grapes selected in this blend were hand-picked and then placed in a cool room immediately after harvest to preserved fruit quality (cooled to 4 degrees Celsius). The Nero d’Avola, Negroamaro and Lagrein were co-fermented together (approximately 10% whole bunch). The aim in making this was to allow the fruit flavours dominate, therefore only three-year-old oak barrels were used to store this wine.
Taste: Dark ink colour with some opaqueness. The scrummy dark nose of liquorice, plum, cola and black fruits, ending with a hint of smoke and tobacco
Pairing: Grilled, barbequed meats, some asian dishes and mexican food
Payment & Security
Your payment information is processed securely. We do not store credit card details nor have access to your credit card information.