The one and only Giorgio de Maria joins me on the show in this episode. As one of the leading lights of the natural wine movement in Australia, Italian-born Giorgio is behind such Sydney institutions as Vini and 121BC. He is also one of the organisers of the Rootstock Festival, this year held in Sydney for the second time, and next year to be held in Hong Kong. He share a bit about his background and how he came to work with wines of this calibre.
I’m not sure if it was just the jet lag but there was a surreal feeling returning to Italy, the place that had the most profound impact for me on my big trip a few years ago. After some 18 hours in transit and only six hours sleep on a plane in two days, I collected my Fiat 500 (the same car I had last time) from Malpensa airport and set off for Alba in Piemonte.
Castelcerino Soave 2013
A little closed at the moment, showing the salty shellfish, hints of volcanic. Vibrantly fresh with fantastic balance of fruit, acid herbs and minerality. Long.
Vigna della Bra 2012
Lovely briny capers, juicy vibrant and a little fat. Rich fantastic and complex, mouth-filling, delicious and unique.
Turbiana 2012 (trebbiano)
Similar shellfish notes, wild herbal green fruits. On the palate slightly haunting, still bright and fresh, more open and elusive though.
De Fratelli 2010
Beeswax citrus herbs, lively on the palate, wild dry savoury and open. Beeswax comes late on the palate, vibrant and fresh, absolutely outstanding.
Clean bright colour, more fruit on the nose, less skin contact character. More fruit sweetness but also more volatility.
Very much in the cider realm, gorgeous fresh and complex, vibrant aromatic, lovely fruit generosity, what a cracker of a wine.
Very savoury nutty aroma, darker colour, round soft gentle, savoury nutty and cheesy.
Quite raw and rustic nose, stinky and funky. Meaty tannins, very dark but nice softness of fruit.
Really wild and complex to the point of being difficult. Somehow delicious and very savoury.
Soft generous tannins, bold yet round and long, a fuller more mellow red wine.
Bright intense honey herbed fruit, lovely talkiness and volatility. Nice fruit evolution across the palate, vibrant fresh style, quite clean with a hint of savoury.
Malvasia Rosa 2013
A bit darker than the 2010, a bit deeper and more closed on the nose. Bolder fruit, juicier too, a bit of sweetness but some nice herb character, vibrant now but will settle.
Really interesting tightness, very dry but fresh, some lovely sweet dark fruit on the back palate. Doesn’t scream natural wine, in fact on the lean side, very pleasant wine.
Fruitier more approachable nose, juicy soft and round yet focused. Very moreish, depends food but also fresh enough to encourage appetite.
Rosso della Bandita 2013 (four undisclosed red varieties)
Quite aromatic but closed and very young, wonderfully fresh, dry soft energetic, very lithe.
To say that Adam Foster has had an interest in food and wine for a long time is an understatement. Having grown up in Bendigo and beginning his career as a chef, a love of wine and a desire to make it himself led him to studies, travel and working vintage in numerous regions in Australia and France. When he began to make his own wine he worked as a sommelier to support himself, working at the famous Lakehouse in Daylesford, but now his winemaking is his full-time job. Three varieties have captured his attention; syrah for his Syrahmi project, sangiovese for his Foster e Rocco project, and grenache for his L’Imposteur project in France.
Honey herbal volatility. Exceedingly fresh, complex, just a bit of dirtiness on the back. Classic skin contact style, wild salty texture.
Very dark for a rosé. Unbelievably complete, complex and long, dark fruits, spice herbs. Unbelievably perfect and yet haunting.
La Querciola 2010
Dark earthy, seeing some volatility. Very very complex, intense dark earthy, very intense tannins.