. after Kathleen
‘. after Kathleen’ is a stop-off point in a series of experiments in texture and tannin in white wine, though most certainly not the finishing point.
Earlier incarnations have been labelled as ‘Ramato’ and ‘Reverse Cowgirl’ or have simply been unlabelled experimental wines.
James Broadway introduced me to the wines of Josko Gravner with the 1998 vintage. These wines were a profound shift from convention and piqued my curiosity, inspiring a series of vinous explorations with skin contact and unfiltered white wine.
Kathleen Queeley and Kevin McCarthy had inspired Australians to drink Pinot Grigio and I’ve been enjoying their Friulano grown at Balnarring on the Mornington Peninsula.
Way back in 1992 Beppe Colla had told me Picolit ‘was a dream not a real grape’ when I worked at Prunotto. I pursued this dream though and planted Picolit at Moondarra. It’s been a difficult variety to get to know and it’s only recently I’ve understood the importance of cross-pollinating the ‘female’ variety (the only female Vitis Vinifera used
for winemaking) with Chardonnay (Mendoza clone), Verduzzo, Gewürztraminer or Pinot Bianco.
I had, at the suggestion of Dr Bailey Carrodus, commenced growing Pinot Noir from seedlings in 2005. I’ve found success with this and the next logical was to start pollinating Picolit with Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco and Mendoza clone Chardonnay. So the ‘. after Kathleen’ vineyard at Moondarra is Picolit, Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Mendoza clone Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco as well as an equal area dedicated to seedlings produced with crosses of these varieties with Picolit. Hopefully some Ribolla Giallo will make its way into the blend and into the seedling program as well at some stage, completing the tableau of Northeast Italy varieties.
The wine is a blend of Friulano, Grigio, Chardonnay and Picolit. It’s textural (due to not being filtered) yet dry and tart also with nice minerally ‘tang’.
All of our wines are produced with a gustatory sensibility. I love . after Kathleen with crustaceans.