Ricca Terra 'Bullets Before Cannonballs"

Ricca Terra 'Bullets Before Cannonballs"

notes from the producer:

Ricca Terra Vintners
'Bullets Before Cannonballs' Red Wine
Riverland, Australia

Mythology has it, ‘inexperienced sailors were defeated by enemy ships as a result of firing cannonballs that missed their targets. Such defeats could have been avoided if the trajectory of the cannonball was calculated prior to being fired. Experienced sailors did this by firing bullets first. While a single bullet could never sink an enemy’s ship, it allowed for the precise calculation of how high and wide the cannonball should be shot… to ensure a fatal hit occurred’.


Ricca Terra Farms has taken the ‘fire bullets before cannonballs’ philosophy when it comes to planting new grape varieties. Rather than mass planting a new grape variety and then learning how it behaves as a vine and as a wine, Ricca Terra Farms’ approach has been to plant small plots of a new grape variety; then watch, wait and learn (firing bullets). When the right bullet is identified, the cannonball is loaded and fired… meaning the grape variety is introduced into Ricca Terra Farms’ grape variety portfolio.


The red grapes used to make this wine are some of the standout Mediterranean varieties found planted in Australia. Ashley’s aim was to craft a wine that ‘shouted a statement’ to the world that blends of Mediterranean grape varieties grown in the Riverland would make great wines. The bullets have been shot… now for the cannonball! The grapes selected in this blend were hand-picked and then placed in a cold room immediately after harvest to preserve fruit quality.


The Nero d’Avola, Montepulciano and Lagrein were co-fermented together (approximately 20% whole bunch). The Tempranillo was picked two weeks prior to the other three varieties. The aim in making this was to allow the fruit flavors dominate, therefore only three-year old oak barrels were used to store this wine. Very fragrant, medium bodied red of high drinkability and charisma.


Crunchy red-black berry fruit characters, light sweetness but coupled to ultra spicy notes and a squeaky, tangy, herb-laced finish. It’s bright, flavorsome and easy to drink – good fun, but with a serious undertow in the complexity stakes. Region: Riverland


Varietal: 35.5% Lagrein - 30% Nero d'Avola - 27.5% Montepulciano - 7% Tempranillo

Vintage: 2018

Vineyard: Ricca Terra Estate

Vine Age: Average: 15-years-old

Soil Type: Well-Drained Red Clay with Silt Deposits

Alcohol: 14.5%

Oak: 10 months in third passage French barrique Production: 1,500 cases


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