Luke Lambert is part of a group of young Australian winemakers (including Timo Mayer) in the state of Victoria who share similar philosophies and call themselves “South Pack”. They believe in low chemical inputs in the vineyard, hand harvesting, wild yeast ferments, low levels of new oak, moderated alcohols, savoury palate structures and food friendly styles. Most of them have lived and worked in Europe, drink French wines at home and look as much to France and Italy for inspiration as to Australia.
The Heathcote Nebbiolo is handpicked from a single vineyard in Heathcote. The vineyard is a two acre dry grown block planted in 1996 to the Nebbiolo (similar clone as Barbaresco)
The soil is free draining and made up of lightly ferric ironstone and sandy soils.
Fermented using wild yeasts, Luke uses the “staccato” method of cap management, as practised by Giacomo Conterno. The wine undergoes 50 to 60 days on the skins post ferment. It is matured in large 510 litres puncheons that Luke bought off a nearby Pinot Noir producer, they are over five years old and therefore impart no oak flavour. He uses no sulphur during wine making, and adds only a small amount at bottling. Bottled without fining or filtration.
It shows a glossy ruby colour, with attractive and complex aromas of black fruits, tar, crushed raspberries and black pepper. It is mid-weight but has mouth filling tannin, very fine grained and silky. There is fresh, juicy acidity with a core of plum and sloe fruit and a savoury finish.