Stella Bella Wines is a small privately owned wine company, located in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, that makes wines under the quixotic brand names of Stella Bella, Suckfizzle and Skuttlebutt
While the brands are differentiated by sub-regions, vineyards, style, price and curious names, the objective is always to create wines of expression, personality and interest with an emphasis on unique imaging. As a wine producer Stella Bella aims to be: creative while curious about new and different wine styles and grape varieties. Stella Bella will never neglect the virtues and lessons of tradition. Stella Bella take an opportunistic approach, whilst estate owned vineyards provide much of the fruit, the winemaking team are always in search of grape growers with a Stella Bella vision.
So what’s in a name? A most frequently asked question about Stella Bella wines is not price, or availability but the names. How and for that matter why? The short answer is inspiration. Stella Bella aim to deliver an individual range of crafted, quality wines, sourced from and produced in the Margaret River. Stella Bella is more than a name or a wine - it is an expression, a passion, and a summation of things bright, spirited and beautiful. Many things and occasions in life could be described as Stella Bella and not least of all - good wine.
Under the Stella Bella umbrella you will find the small production exotica of a Pink Muscat, the torrid Tempranillo, a feisty Sangiovese Cabernet blend, the classic line up of varietal Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Shiraz, and, the regional signature blends of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Merlot.
Suckfizzle is a small vineyard located at the south-westerly extreme of the Margaret River grape growing region. Here the converging power of the Southern and Indian oceans, provide a cool maritime climate characterised by drenching winter rains and long dry summers cooled by omnipresent sea breezes. In the north-east facing shelter of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and the Blackwood River, nature provided a unique viticultural mesoclimate for the Suckfizzle wines.
Only two wines are made from the small Suckfizzle Vineyard. The white is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the percentages a reflection of seasonal fortune. In style, the wine takes its cue from the very great wines of the Bordeaux appellation Pessac Leognan but showcases the inimitable Augusta style. The red is pure Cabernet Sauvignon - Margaret River's greatest natural asset and as a seasoned performer, willing to embrace the challenge of an exciting and new viticultural stage.
The essential substance of wine should always be of grapes and as such, fruit power is the footprint of the Suckfizzle style. The intent of Suckfizzle is to retain in winemaking the fruit character that each vintage brings. Such character is determined by the maturing vines, the seasonal lottery and the honing of viticultural and winemaking skills on the lessons of vintages past. The name, Suckfizzle is drawn from the unique tales of Rabelais (1490 to 1553), the 15th century French monk and medico turned writer and his infamous character the Great Lord Suckfizzle.
Whilst earthy and a touch coarse, Rabelais’ tales were in truth a parody of medieval literature and learning. Yet apart from this tongue in cheek’ nature, Rabelais writings could be enjoyed for their sheer mastery of language - no need to identify a possible meaning or association of every phrase, quotation or place name. And alike, the wines of Suckfizzle (no matter how serious) can be relished for their quintessential fruit power and masterly winemaking. Just as Rabelais has become eponymous for his literary style, Suckfizzle is destined to become so for quality and character in wine.
This antiquated, nautical term for the source of drinking water on sea going vessels has the derived meaning of slang, gossip, chitta chatta, rumour, etc. The site of such life-sustaining liquid on board was also the bed from which the grapevine of social gossip did sprout. The opportunity to catch up with friends over a glass of good wine is the perfect occasion for Skuttlebutt. To keep matters simple Skuttlebutt comes in only three types - a blended red wine and a blended white wine, and a rosé - fresh, youthful, mouth-filling, easy drinking - very social wine. Let it flow!