One tonne of Sangiovese in 2016 was only a hint of what was to come. Fast forward five years, and vintage 2021 means a grape crush of some 30 tonnes. To say the expansion has been astronomic might be underselling things a little.
But James Scarcebrook doesn’t do things by halves. And if the wines are anything to go by, it’s hard to think of this expansion as anything other than natural.
Vino Intrepido is dedicated solely to Italian varieties grown in some of Victoria’s premier sites and soils and treated with the respect they deserve in the winery. The idea here is to let the terroir of these sites sing, only getting involved in the winemaking were it to be beneficial to the wine – macerating on skins for longer than one might expect, to use one example.
These are, by definition, low-fi wines, but not in a ‘fad’ sense. More that it makes sense for these wines to be handled as minimally as possible, bringing out the best in the fruit with careful, meticulous winemaking. It’s not dogmatic, just what makes sense and feels, dare we say it, natural.
And the Australian wine world at large seems to agree. James has been named a finalist in this years Young Gun of Wine awards and has routinely scored over 90 points for his wines from many of the leading wine writers and critics. It’s no small praise for a winery that has only existed for half a decade.
With some more funkier wines to be released later this year, including a Lambrusco Pet Nat and Col Fondo Prosecco in August, we expect Vino Intrepido to be a name to be on the lips of Italian varietal lovers for a while yet.