Hesketh Jimi’s Ferment Fumé Blanc 2021


Many winemakers are finally realising that not only is basic Savvy a touch boring, it is tough to compete with the Kiwis. The answer? Making better, more complex wines. Simple! The team fermented the grapes, sourced from Mount Gambier, in a single open-topped fermenter in the manner they might do with red varieties, though no skin contact. Then ten months on yeast lees in old French hogsheads. 25% went through malolactic fermentation. Loved the rationale behind making this wine. Some backpackers from the Loire Valley worked in the vineyards and made the suggestions on how to do all this. James ‘Jimi’ Lienert, the winemaker, said that “it sounded ridiculous, so I had to try it”. It has clearly worked!! 

Golden lemon in colour. Tropical notes to the fore here, with mango and passion fruit. A lovely, lifted aromatic nose. This is a Savvy for those not enamoured of the variety. Ripe and generous. Moving to the palate, soft and voluptuous, with a seductive texture. Hints of orange rinds emerge with the tropical notes. Even though the complexity suggests that this might benefit from time in the cellar, the appealing freshness makes it a drink now for me. Excellent value.

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