Argentinian-born marine engineer Billy Hughes and his late wife Penny bought an old wheat farm outside Malmesbury in 2000, the farm today certified organic by the company Lacon and grapes sought after by some leading winemakers.
Own production occurs under the Nativo label, two more unconventional wines currently available as follows:
Nativo Flora 2017
A blend of 67% Viognier, 18% Chenin Blanc and 15% Grenache Blanc. Matured under flor in old oak barrels. The nose initially shows a pronounced beer-like note to go with apple, peach, pineapple, and some nuttiness while the palate displays a dense core of fruit, arresting acidity and a savoury finish plus the impression of a slight petillance on opening. The wine appeared unresolved and rather bemusing initially but became more settled over three or four days of being open – you wouldn’t call this refined but it has stacks of interest.
CE’s rating: 91/100.
Nativo Amarillo 2019
60% Roussanne and 40% Grenache Blanc, juice given extended skin contact. Deep orange in colour and not particularly aromatic although subtle notes of potpourri, herbs, orange, marzipan and earth. The palate is rich and broad with tangy acidity, some light grip to the finish. Nicely balanced and very much more about structure and texture than fruit expression.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
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By Christian Eedes, 4 May 2021