This Schioppettino from Bike & Barrel has won gold at the Australia Alternative Wine Varieties Show. I know why too; it is the perfect balance of drinkability and complexity. Red currants, pepper, hint of menthol and charred oak. The palate is generous up front, rounded and plush in the middle with a tart finish. The flavours linger with a coffee note coming through. I’d drink this now and over the next 5-7 years. Food matches would include Baked fish or Ossau Iraty cheese.
The Greenacres Vineyard is well established with popular varieties like Chardonnay, Prosecco, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo. The Lewis family decided it was time to make their own label after 10 years of growing. The 10ha of popular varieties that mostly gets sold off. Then they have a small patch of alternative varieties that they use for their own label. This includes Schioppettino and Refosco from North East Italy, Fiano, Pinotage. A couple of gun winemakers turn their grapes into amazing wine and you are the winner.
There is a lot spoken about the lovely King Valley but the Alpine Valleys that surround offers some fantastic wines, often at great value.
Schioppettino was saved from oblivion in 1997. Friuli is its home but it had fallen out of favour. Nowadays Schioppettino has its own sub-zone and is growing in size and popularity. Schioppettino is also found in Slovenia where it’s called pocaza. The wines are reminiscent of Pinot Noir or Syrah. They tend to be lower alcohol and higher in acidity. They tend to have characters of violets, red berries, pepper, and earthiness. Also known as Ribolla Nera locally.