Natural Amphora Rondo, Hebron Vineyard, Carmarthenshire
Talkin ‘Bout Regeneration
Tastes like: Blackberry. Smokey. Black Cherry. Savoury. Oak. Sourdough.
The canny team at Gwinllan Hebron make this tremendous natural Amphora wine using organically farmed grapes from their own estate and utilise the lowest intervention possible in the winery. It's an extremely gluggable, highly distinctive, low alcohol wine that is great fun and guilt-free too!
The gang at Hebron have also adopted a 'regenerative' approach in the vineyard, which is arguably the most sustainable way to make wine possible (and no mean feat in Wales' relatively moist and cool weather)
The team describes regenerative winemaking as, "one which works in balance with nature, without any outside inputs, emphasising the importance of whole farm system from soil to fruit." - and in addition to shunning all chemicals and nasty artificial stuff they're also encouraging diversity of flora and fauna too.
Half of the wine is matured in American oak and the other half in a traditional Spanish tinajas (Amphora) which Hebron's Jemma Vickers and Paul Rolt brought back to Wales after they spent 20 years making organic wine in Andalucia.
Allowing the fermented juice to gently circulate in the amphora for almost a year gives the wine a lovely soft texture and the deliberate decision to leave a little airspace at the top of the amphora gives the wine a rich and savoury oxidative tang alongside the trademark black fruit and moderate tannins of the Rondo grapes.
Natural spontaneous fermentation, no chapitalisation, unblocked malo-lactic fermentation and gravity-led clarification without filtration make this as 'hands-off' an approach as you'll find in a wine. Banging.
The wine is a collaboration with the equally talented David Morris from Mountain People Wine who has become a key pioneer in Wales' burgeoning natural wine movement.
WALES - 2021 - 9% - 75cl
Natural Wine - Low Intervention - Organic Practicing - Wild Fermentation - Sustainable - Vegan - Vegetarian