There’s a deliberate and fussy winemaking mindset behind this excellent example of sauvignon blanc that stands far apart and above more commercial versions which reek of lantana bush, green herbals and over the top tropical fruits (as well as demonstrative cash-flow).
94 Points Drink 2020 – 2028
Here we have a properly respectful, slow-food kind of approach to the variety – on top of all the specific work in the Wrattonbully vineyard by vigneron Xavier Bizot, in the winery whole bunch pressing, lengthy cold settling, fermentation and maturation on lees in large, old oak casks, as well as a lengthy period of integration in the bottle before release bring into focus a distinctive region/ vineyard and winemaking style. The aromatics are subtle, promising more temperate climate ripe fruit notes with flavours that stretch from granny smith and custard apple, limes and more savoury fennel and bay leaf. The texture and length are delightfully crafted as well. This is sauvignon blanc with heaps of intellectual and gastronomic interest, and also the complexity to develop cleverly over 5 years and more.
This method by co-owner/winemaker Xavier Bizot is worth explaining because as a result this is one concentrated, dense Sauvignon Blanc. The grape’s usual herbaceous exuberance is toned down, other forces are at work here.
Apple blossom, honeysuckle, stone fruits come first, and then comes the appearance of dried herbs bringing the grape’s signature scent. This is a Sauvignon Blanc working its other attributes, maybe not immediately recognisable but it’s going for subtlety, complexity and above all, rich texture.
It’s a quiet build-up of flavour and intensity of orchard fruit, crunchy apple, citrus and honey on the palate. Bizot suggests the wine has an incredible ageing potential for an Australian Sauvignon Blanc of 15 to 20 years. He’s putting it in the same camp as a top Chardonnay. He might be right. I’m a little more conservative.
Immediate impression is of a Savvy of class. Pure. There is a slight chalkiness underneath, but layers of passionfruit and tropical notes over that. A hint of puckering acidity. It is a little more abrupt than expected but overall, a fine effort.
Andrea Pritzker MW
Gentle bouquet of lemon zest, white peach, chamomile and hints of flint. Fresh, crisp and lively showing excellent intensity and subtle, creamy mid-palate texture leading to a long zesty lemony finish. An elegant food-friendly style superbly balanced with vibrant fruit purity and textural complexity.
A very interesting wine here that is strongly varietal but also has the benefits of complex winemaking which provide many layers of complexity. A little closed to begin it takes some time for the fruit to emerge – nettle, passionfruit and guava are then matched by almost Burgundian complexity of almond meal and praline from barrel ferment and lees ageing. The palate is equally subtle – creamy and textural with primary fruit in the background, and again that savoury, leesy complexity the most prominent aspect. But that character is also strong, robust and long with a distinct similarity to White Bordeaux. A very long aging style of sauvignon blanc that probably needs a decade to show its best.
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