Bruce Dukes’ Domaine Naturaliste new release wines are showing complexity, intrigue and ageability, once again.
Domaine Naturaliste ‘Sauvage’ Sauvignon Blanc 2021
From 23-year-old vines grown on their own roots, the 2021 Sauvage is a vibrant and delicious but different style to those seeking a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am version of Sauvignon Blanc. A wild yeast ferment (‘sauvage’ translates to wild) and maturation on lees for ten months, a third in new French oak 500L puncheons for texture and aroma with 11% semillon added too (fermented & matured separately) has produced a wine of complexity and intrigue. The 2021 Sauvage is chalky and steely, with fruit flavour more an essence of ripe tropical pineapple and lychee than overt sweet tropical fruitiness, with a note of zested lemon and light waft of pine-nut toastiness. There’s texture and a balance of lovely saline, savoury fruit, and an energy to the wine, with undulating waves of acidity finishing crisp and mineral. This is serious Sauvignon, drink now to 2027.
Domaine Naturaliste ‘Floris’ Chardonnay 2021
From Margaret River’s famous Gingin clone of chardonnay, the Floris has spent ten months in French Allier and Vosges oak barriques; one-third in new, with a small portion going through malolactic fermentation to soften the grape’s maritime climate acidity. The 2021 Floris is saline sea spray over notes of grapefruit zest, just-picked nectarine and lightly toasted hazelnut oak. The palate is alive with energy and the gorgeous purity of its savoury fruit versus balanced acidity with the lightest tannin grip; a tightrope of taut minerality and savoury oak framing the underlining zing. Drink now to 2030.
Domaine Naturaliste ‘Rebus’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
From the famed Wilyabrup sub-region in the heart of Margaret River, the 2019 Rebus is matured for twelve months in French oak barriques, forty percent new, hewn from the Tronçais and Jupilles forests that always seem to have a magical symbiosis with Margaret River Cabernet. The 2019 Rebus shows all the elements we love in Margs cabernet, with aromas of freshly squashed blackcurrants and redcurrants plus leaf and tobacco, and notes of dark chocolate and subtle, savoury notes of dried oregano. The wine is plush, medium-bodied, ripe and silky smooth on entry, with its structure of acidity and tannin intensifying like a left-hander surf break at Gnarabup. It’s lip-smackingly delicious right now and will repay time in the cellar too. Drink now to 2035.