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Moondarra Studebaker Bianco


Pinot Grigio Friulano unfiltered & skin fermented.

Studebaker Bianco is one conclusion in a series of experiments in texture and tannin in white wine, a post punk, post natural, tangy, minerally, crunchy gargle.

Earlier incarnations have been labelled as ‘after Kathleen’, ‘Ramato’ and ‘Reverse Cowgirl’ or have simply been unlabelled experimental wines, gifted to friends and the unsuspecting.

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 vinous explorations with skin contact and unfiltered white wine.

We crushed fruit rather than press off skins. Some juice is left to ferment to dryness on skins, some partially fermented on skins and some just left for a few hours pre ferment.

The portion of juice with skins is fermented in small, open bins and the cap plunged occasionally to keep wet and avoid volatility. The wine is drained to old oak with the yeast lees to integrate the sourdough flavours from the autolysis of the lees prior to bottling in Spring without fining or filtration. About a third of the juice is fermented in small, old oak without skin contact. We add sulphur after primary fermentation to preserve freshness.

The overt green-melon ‘fruitiness’ is a pleasant surprise. Texturally it’s a joy. Leaving the wine unfiltered retains viscosity as well as almond blossom aromatics. The ‘phenolic’, skinsy crunch (which comes from the fermentation on skins) acts as a kind of picture frame around the wine defining the honeydew and pear flavours complimented by ginger spice confined within these borders.

I love the aromatic cherry blossom and jasmine aromatics.

I’ve found the wine a treat with any crustaceans but pan-fried vineyard snails, garlic and butter with nettles is my favourite match.

Currently out of stock.