Home Lifestyle The original collaboration is 3 – the magic number

The original collaboration is 3 – the magic number


A popular guide to creating a new wine brand: buy grapes from a grower, make some wine (usually in a quiet corner of a friends winery) and limit it to a few barrels so you can talk about its rarity and the one-time opportunity for consumers to get this unique juice. Pay your art college friend (in wine) to inspire him for a bright, rich psychedelic label. Go to Instagram after reading the article “10 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Influence”.

Another way is to plant grapes with the goal of cultivating the land for a lifetime, making decisions that will not pay off in twenty years. Convince, persuade and maintain relationships with the best grape handlers available to you, developing long-term partnerships. Next, ride the waves of wine fashion, despair over poor harvest weather, and bask in the joy of a rare perfect season of high yields and high quality grapes. Finally, create a single brand, carefully develop and craft to meet the market, slowly improving your style and quality.

There is clearly room for both. One-offs, experimental and virtual brands from creative young winemakers can often be a low-cost entry point into a saturated market, and if executed well, can be a springboard for long-term brand development.

While we flock like moths to the new, shiny, bright thing (guilty as charged), every now and then I stop to marvel at the dedication, patience and adaptability of the brave souls who invest in the final process.

One such example is 3 Drops, located in Mount Barker, led by Joanne Bradbury. Next week he will release his first Nebbiolo from vines planted 20 years ago. I repeat – their FIRST RELEASE AFTER 20 YEARS.

Camera icon3 drops Nebbiolo. credit: Delivered

Stealing a trick from its more volatile competitors, Nebbiola 3 Drops 2021 is only available in small quantities and is one of very few examples of Nebbiola from Western Australia and, to my knowledge, the only Nebbiola from the Great South. It was worth waiting.

3 Drops is a “collaboration” between Bradbury, Ray Williams and Rob Dillety. Not ‘just once’, but triple hopped, acai berry and lemon myrtle. 20 years of cooperation. Before planting, Bradbury sought out William’s viticultural skills, and they still work together today. Diletti joined the team in the third crop. Together, they focused on classic varietals, and their wines, especially Riesling and Pinot Noir, rival the best in the state.

3 drops Riesling.
Camera icon3 drops Riesling. credit: Delivered

This is no surprise as they are made by Diletti, a former Australian Winemaker of the Year winner, and arguably WA’s best in both of these varieties. The 3 Drops wines showcase Diletti’s skill and flexibility and are markedly different from his own styles made under his Castle Rock label. Some healthy input from Williams over the years, keen to ensure his fruit is made in the style he likes, means they are crafted to reflect the Mt Barker flavor profile. Unlike some tightly coiled examples of these varietals, they are built to exude the great expression, generosity and quaffing power of young wines.

The name 3 Drops refers to the three essential liquids on Joe’s farm—wine, olive oil, and water. 3 can just as easily refer to the magic number of people who will lead a wine brand to success. As for Nebbiolo, as a new variety, it is very promising. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 20 years for the next one.

3 Drops 2021 Nebbiolo, Mount Barker, $35

An impressive first vintage of Nebbiolo with pronounced sarsaparilla, dried herbs and a hint of fruit tart. Neither heavy nor light, but generous, with plenty of ripe texture and grip. Long savory savory palate, blackberry and bresaola fruit with chew and spice. Like it so much. 94/100

3 Drops Riesling 2022, Mount Barker, $28

Riesling remains the best dry white wine. This is a refreshing, highly aromatic example in a classic style. Aromas of “Taltsi”, white lilies, pink grapefruit, lime zest. Taste drinks beautifully. Crisp and invigorating without the austerity of some young Rieslings. Nicely rounded on the finish. 93/100

3 Drops 2021 Mount Barker Pinot Noir, $35

Serious and playful at the same time. Clear, lush, deep, dark, red fruit in abundance. Ripe wild strawberries with subtle cedar and oak toast. What sets this apart from the others is how seamless it tastes. Everything is in its place. Clear delicate tannins, light among raspberries, spices and mushrooms. The wine is young, but ready to drink. Why wait? 96/100


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