Clairault B79 Semillon Sauvignon 2011 (Margaret River, WA)
12%, Screwcap, $35
The first in Clairault’s new ‘Site Series’. The B79 name refers to the fact that this was sourced from the B vineyard planted in 1979. Simple eh? Nice packaging too, with those smart new ridged screwcaps (which are tricky to get right on the bottling line apparently).
Like many Margaret River wineries, the aim with this white is to try and make a more complex and textural version of the standard, simple fruit driven SSB, with the extra layers achieved in this by taking the blend of 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc fruit and giving it time in barrel, perhaps even a little extra yeast work.
Stylistically it’s a pristine Sem Sauv underneath it all, all grapefruit and citrus with a kiss of vanilla oak. That fruit is tart and just-ripe and grapefruity, super clean but also razor sharp. The problem is that the oak then sits on top of this purity and brightness, with a net result of a blunt clash and a lack of cohesion to hold together what is some very smart fruit.
The question then is simply – when will it come together? My guess? Well after most of this has been drunk…