Michael Hall Sang de Pigeon Blanc 2019
This is not your ordinary ‘blanc.’ It’s neo rather than trad. Definitely not your usual colour, either, for a 2019 release white. It’s golden rather than neutral.
Barossa Valley-based winemaker, Michael Hall, tries his hand at a skin-contact white and ends up with something that gets people like me talking and, yes, drinking. Aforementioned golden in colour (imagine a 15-year old white aged under cork with the cork itself bringing a degree of colour) with grapey aromatics, big spice, lantana, baked apple and green bean herbals.
Fermentation on skins can, at worse, often disguise varietal recognition (don’t know how many times I write ‘cider’ as a descriptor for some of these wines). Let’s face it, how many of us could pick the mix of grapes contained here anyway: Muscat a Petits Grains, Riesling, Crouchen and Verdelho with 20% of Barossa Valley Roussanne thrown into the mix.
The big trade-off is flavour, a tonne of it. It fills the mouth, rolls around for ages and then it stays on and on. If this is your first introduction to the phenolic world of skin contact white wines, you are in for a treat.
NOTE: Sang de Pidgeon means ‘blood of the pidgeon’ and is a reference to the winemaker, Michael Hall, who worked in Switzerland valuing jewels and the term was used for the reddest of rubies.