Thanks to the challenges of couriers (Auspost has its drawbacks, but wine does turn up more often than not), these two wines have been floating around at depots and in the back of delivery trucks for the past month. Ugh! Luckily it’s winter or I’d be unimpressed about cooked wine…
Anyway, I’m glad they turned up, as these are deliciously energetic and vital modern McLaren Vale reds that I like. They might even be the best releases yet from Andy & Angela’s Lino Ramble project. Smart and tasty.
Oh and a special shout out to the great packaging here. As the name suggests the designs on the label are inspired by linoleum, though they’re much cooler than the faux slate lino I’m used too.
Lino Ramble Gomas McLaren Vale Grenache 2015
This comes off ‘The Old Piggery Block’ at Seaview. Organically grown (in conversion) fruit that was handpicked, wild fermented and spent 9 months in barrel. No added yeast, tannin or acid and no fining. Just 275 cases produced.
Why add anything to a wine when it looks this good? This is oh-so-fresh and lively. Light ruby/raspberry red, this smells instantly of raspberries and red fruit in a generous and gently open style. Lovely. There is a hint of beef in there too (25% whole bunches ahoy), before an open and juicy palate that overflows with red fruit. It’s just a little warm – spirituous, alcohol-warm – but that also helps fill out the finish, which is mainly about expansive, red licorice flavour rather than tannin in a just mid-weight style.
Such tasty Grenache. Sure, the message here is all about fruit rather than complexity or structure. But gee this has some energy too it! I ended up with slightly higher points (I had this at 93 originally) just because I like it’s exuberance so much. Best drinking: 2016-2022. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.4%, $30. Would I buy it? Absolutely. You could knock off loads of this.
Lino Ramble Tom Bowler McLaren Vale Nero d’Avola 2015
From one of the (certified organic and biodynamic) Paxton Vineyards at Whites Valley. Handpicked, wild fermented, no acid or enzymes added and no fining. 267 cases produced.
Another light and exuberant wine. Both red and black fruit here with plenty of licorice, the palate primary and juicy with that classic black jelly bean Nero fruit and a little caramel. It doesn’t quite sing with the red fruit beauty of the Grenache – and it’s a bit shorter – but plenty of life and energy here. Surprising (positive) acidity too. Best drinking: 2016-2021. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.8% $30. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass or two.