Wildman Wine, Astro Bunny Pét-Nat, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 2023
The 2023 vintage in South Australia was cooler than the previous two years, with no summer days over 40 degrees (104F) which allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and achieve maximum flavour ripeness without losing freshness or acidity. The whites were picked early to retain acidity and obtain lower alcohol levels, with the Arneis picked on March 24th and the Fiano on 16th March. The Zibibbo was picked on March 11th and finally the Nero d’Avola came in on March 24th. From a selection of premium vineyard sites: Arneis from Amadio Vineyard, Adelaide Hills - planted 1985 gravel loam over clay, Nero d’Avola from Sue Trott’s Wilpena Vineyard, McLaren Vale - planted 2011 sand over clay, Fiano from Gemtree, McLaren Vale - planted 2008 sand over clay, Zibibbo from Gums & Roses vineyard, Loxton, Riverland - planted 1953 red sand over limestone.
The Zibibbo was given 24 hours pre-ferment skin contact to extract greater aromatics, the Nero was taken from the press after just a few hours to provide colour, then co-fermented with the Fiano and Arneis. Interestingly the wine always goes into bottle a bright candy pink colour which transforms into the classic peachy orange over winter, a result of us not using any sulphur so the brighter red and pink colour compounds fall out of solution. The wine is bottled at approximately 12 g/L residual sugar and completes its fermentation in the bottle over the winter becoming fully dry and resulting in a final pressure of around 3 bar, producing a gentle foam rather than an aggressive fizz. Wild yeast, no additions, no filtration, no fining, zero sulphur = 100% natural goodness.
No oak ageing
The 2023 vintage represents 10 years of Astro Bunny (first vintage 2014) and they couldn’t be happier with the result. The cooler conditions of the 2023 vintage, with the fruit ripening on average about two weeks later than normal, were ideal for producing both freshness and fruit power. The blend is the classic Bunny Italian trifecta of Adelaide Hills for early picked whites (Arneis), McLaren Vale for riper Nero d’Avola and the Riverland for our old vine Zibibbo (vineyard planted in 1962). They also added some biodynamic certified Fiano from McLaren Vale this year which brings some lovely texture and mouthfeel. The colour is a peachy, hazy, lava lamp carrot colour, the aromas explosive with white peach, tangerine and cut lime. The bubbles are soft and more foamy not aggressively fizzy, with the classic Astro Bunny flavours of peach and nectarine with a smashable watermelon wetness providing great gluggability. She's fun! Tim was asked to describe the wines in three words recently and I said “Fun, fruity and fault-free” (well maybe that’s four). To that you could add foaming, frothy, fresh and fantastic.
Chill down, shake well before opening, and serve with Seafood and shellfish, salads, fresh fruit.
Other sparkling wine
6 x 75cl
Award: James Suckling 92- 93 Points