Picks from the #LookSB Sauvignon Tweetup
|A pack of Sauvs? A suite of Sauvs even?|
In a clever bid to draw attention to their newest Sauvignon Blanc release, the Petraea, Adelaide Hills producer Nepenthe recently posted out a 3 pack of ‘textured’ styles of Savvies, sent expressly with the intention of having likely tasters from across Australia open the three together and then opine about them via social media (using the hashtag #LookSB in the process).
As one of said likely tasters I duly opened up the trio (with chicken fajitas – I live the high life) and had a reasonably close look at them. Sadly, a one sided fight with my phone actually prevented much twitter commenting (which is a shame really as I would have been interested in what the preferences were) but I did manage to jot down some old fashioned, longer-than-160-characters notes.
As always with these sort of tastings this was a really quite enjoyable look at three quite different wines. Whilst the Nepenthe was certainly the most challenging of the three, I also think that it might show the most potential, even if it was bloody hard going on the night.
Nepenthe Petraea Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Adelaide Hills, SA)
Woah. This looked very reductive on the nose, with the telltale whiff of sulphur hiding some of the aromatic goodness – methinks a little more oxidative handling would have really helped this wines cohesion no end. Beyond that reduction, the nose shows subdued lemon and a light whiff of smoky oak but I was definitely digging to find the fruit. Sadly I didn’t get to try this again today as things may well have come together with a night (half empty) in the fridge.
As for the palate, well it looked angular – tight, super dry and bluntly acidic, the oak providing only a whisper of texture to what is ultimately a very crisp, firmly delineated palate. It’s almost achingly dry actually, the acid slicing like lime edged razor blades. That purity and mega clean (and very modern – attentive technical winemaking here) intensity of fruit is certainly admirable, but whether it makes for a decent drink is rather debatable. In many ways I don’t want to write this off as it tasted so immature, so freshly bottled that it would probably be rude to jump to conclusions, especially as beyond all those jagged edges obviously lies something which could be really quite good (the fruit certainly looks jaunty enough). But, it’s still a genuinely hard wine to fall for right now. In 12 months time it may well look much better. 16.3/87+
Taltarni 3 Monks Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Victoria, Tasmania)
Quite a contrast here, with oak certainly playing a prominent part. Yet it’s not intrusive oak, rather it just acts like a creamy hug to soften out the edges. The nose here is creamy marshmallow and vanilla pod, mixed with a suggestion of herbs and a stir of lemon meringue. It’s a simple appealing nose. Palate is also supportive and easy, the clean and quite neutral fruit helped by the the richer lees/oak edge. Acidity is still abrupt, but the flavors are entirely appropriate. The clincher here is the texture, which provides weight but balanced nicely with cleansing, tightening acidity. I really rather liked this, and I’d call it my pick of the trio. Should look even better with another 6 months in the bottle too. Good + 17.6/91+
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2009 (Sancerre)
Warm year Sancerre and certainly looking a bit fatter for it. That fatness comes through as a faint caramelized edge on the nose, softening the grassiness and presenting a much more developed, if still recognisably ‘dirty socks’ flinty Sancerre style . Lightly herbal, soft and generous palate is pleasant, simple and easy, with a rather warmish finish. A this drinkable wine sure, but looks very poor value in this context. 16.6/88