Broc Cellars The Badger Nero d’Avola 2019
Region: California, Mendocino
Grape Variety: 100% Nero d’Avola
Alcohol Percentage: 13%
Viticulture: Natural Wine | Organic Farming
Terroir: The vineyard is located in Mendocino County, located near Ukiah. The vines are around 20+ years old and farmed by Sam Bilbro and Evan Lewandowski. They farm with no use of pesticides, herbicides, chemicals or synthetics. Cover crop is grown to control weeds.
Ageing: 20% of the grapes are aged on the skins in amphora while the other 80% are fermented on skins, then pressed into neutral French oak barrels. The grapes in amphora are left on the skins through January then basket-pressed back into the amphora to develop for another 6 months. The juice in the barrel is then left to age for 10 months.
Color: Deep ruby red
Nose: Bright nose of spices and dried fruits
Palate: A homage to some of the great Nero d’Avolas of Sicily, this wine showcases deep sensual flavours of plum, pepper, violet, and savoury spices. Tight, bright, fresh and grippy. The intense fresh red fruit will pair magically with all manner of simple Italian pasta
About the Winery:
After growing up in Nebraska and working in Seattle, Chris Brockway arrived in California to study winemaking. Following a textbook education at UC Davis and Fresno State, Chris’s experience of drinking and enjoying more low-intervention wines persuaded him to take a somewhat different path to most of his classmates. In 2002, he began working at an urban winery in Oakland, before leaving in 2006 to set up his own label from a small industrial unit in Berkeley. Today he runs his operation from a bigger premise around the corner, but the focus remains producing wines from organic or biodynamic fruit in a decidedly hands-off fashion – natural ferments and no additions.
Chris is an open-minded and innovative winemaker and his winery reflects this, packed from floor to ceiling with the innumerable projects that he has on the go at any one time. Terracotta fermentation vessels (based loosely on amphorae) full of Nero d’Avola vie for space with sealed tanks of Carignan going through carbonic maceration and a lineup of majestic open-top wood fermenters.
At Broc Cellars, all of their wines are made using spontaneous fermentation, a process that means they only use native yeasts and bacteria that exist on the grapes in order to make wine. They don’t add anything – this includes nutrients, yeast, bacteria, enzymes, tannins or other popular fermentation agents. Sulphur is a naturally occurring element in all wine, the amount found can vary. They add little to no S02, depending on the wine and style. The grapes that they work with are grown without using synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers.
“Our goal in making wine is to bring out the natural expression of the grape. We decide on a wine by wine basis how we want to do that. We have more freedom now to make the choice not to add Sulphur. There is a bigger market for us to go in the direction we want to go. To counter that we are doing more to ensure our vineyards are using the farming practices we support. We’re also committed to detailing exactly what decisions we make during the course of our winemaking process.” – Chris Brockway