The old adage is that inexperienced sailors were defeated by enemy ships because their cannonballs missed the targets. The experienced ones would shoot a bullet first to determine the trajectory prior to the eventual cannonball being fired. The ‘calculations’ provided a better result with a higher percentage of their target being destroyed. Rather than a mass planting of a new grape variety, Ashley Ratcliff’s approach was to plan small plots, watch, wait and learn…the bullet if you will. When the right trajectory is determined, the cannonball is then loaded and fired and a new variety is introduced to the portfolio in the vineyard and bottle. ‘Bullets’ is a statement wine and one that Ashley is especially proud of. It shouts the point that Mediterranean varieties are the future.
The grapes selected in this blend were hand-picked and then placed in a cool room immediately after harvest to preserve fruit quality. The aim in making this was to allow the fruit flavors at the forefront. Each variety is fermented separately in stainless steel and entirely destemmed. Fermentation carried out naturally in used French oak barrels and over a period of 7-20 days, depending on the lot. Secondary fermentation carried out naturally throughout the spring and after 12 months of aging the wine was blended and racked to tank to harmonize together. It was bottled without fining or filtration.