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Ruggabellus is named after the rugged beauty of "the ancient & enchanting nature of our land", land based in the Barossa Valley with both young and very old vines. Ruggabellus explain that "for our reds we are attracted to vineyards that allow us to pick earlier in an effort to preserve vitality, crunch and intrigue" especially given the abundant sunshine in the area which can produce overipe, high alcohol wines if care is not taken in the vineyard. Biodynamic practices are used including harvesting on fruit days. Most of the vineyards that produce grapes for this wine are organic.
This is a Barossa Valley Shiraz blend but not as we know it... A blend of 77% Syrah, 11% Grenache, 8% Mataro and 4% Cinsault it is full of fruit as you might expect but it's more elegant in style than many Barossa Shiraz wines because it has plenty of acidity to balance the sweet fruit flavours. The early picking helps prevent the fruit from being jammy. Flavours are more like sharp red fruits like reducrrants and cranberries with cherry and hints of black fruits showing though towards the end of the finish. Aside from fruit there is also pepper and spice and a savoury character; it's so complex. No new oak is used so that there is just a hint of oak on this wine; it is the pure fruit flavours that stand out. Beautiful!
Archaeus means the soul of a place and that is what this Shiraz or Syrah represents, the soul of the vineyards.
This wine will need decanting - or careful pouring - as it has some sediment.
Recommended to drink with roast beef, steak, lamb, game, hard cheeses
"Taut and focused with sweet raspberry, cherry fruit, and a bit of spice. The palate is fresh, primary and grippy. Tight and tannic with good acidity and concentration. This wine finishes with a lovely precision and some peppery detail."
17 points JancisRobinson.com Feb 2016
"Has that Barossa jam style, but also delivers lift, chew, richness and fragrance. Lots of depth."
17 points JancisRobinson.com Sep 2016
"Meaty, spicy, peppery. Less fruity than the 2014 [which also scored 17 points] but has a lovely earthy tone and fine polenta-style tannin."
93+ points The Wine Front Jun 2014
"Shows a ripe punch of redcurrant, red berry, red flesh plum fruit perfume with red rose petal floral notes. A lick of dried herbs, tar and black olives too. Complex perfume. Inviting. Fleshiness in texture, briary and red-fruited, some more tar and floral character, chewy and puckering with talc-stone tannins. Firm finish, but upfront some more generosity. Feels pretty untamed as yet, but still compelling to drink. Such unchartered waters."
89 points Wine Spectator 2016
"Firm and savory, with roasted herb and mineral accents to the bright red fruit flavors, and accents of white pepper and spice, tannins gaining momentum on the finish."