Not many Australian wine producers take Sauvignon Blanc seriously.
That sounds like a broad, lazy generalisation, but I still challenge you to name more than a handful of producers who really focus on Sauvignon Blanc. There are lots of ‘good’ wines out there, often made by great winemakers, but you’d have to argue that few really hang their hat on the variety.
That’s where David and Nathan at Out of Step Wine Co. come in.
I’ve used their Sauvs in tastings before and every time thought they stood as very smart examples. Wines that prove the appeal of Sauv, even from a region that is more likely to be championing Gamay than Sauvignon Blanc (based on current trends).
Dave Chatfield from Out of Step Wine Co. kindly popped by the other day (that’s ‘im with the beard in pic above) and brought his latest Sauv Blanc iterations with him (incidentally not long after the visit from Sarah Crowe of Yarra Yering).
Not only was it heartening to see the smart Sauvs, but the Nebbiolo quality is coming along strongly too, with more definition and finer tannins than ever. The Out of Step is growing as well, now crushing 28 tonnes and encompassing Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay Shiraz plus more, with further releases in the pipeline.
Oh and there are some pretty new labels for this lineup as well. Nothing Out of Step about the quality here.
Out of Step Wine Co. Willowlake Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016
The standard bearer methinks and every bit the benchmark, ‘look at what we can do with Sauv Blanc’ style. Whole bunch pressed, wild fermented and sees a little new oak. What I like is that it carries the passionfruit varietal characters, except with a lovely gentle leesy richness to match the tropical juiciness. Lovely modern Sauv. 18/20, 93/100.
Out of Step Wine Co. Lusatia Park D Block Sauvignon Blanc 2016
No new oak and 30% sees some skin contact. A fine style that builds with its texture and a little warmth. It’s the Sancerra to Willowlake’s Marlborough. Maybe not the same punch, but a smart textural and lightly phenolic style that Somms apparently prefer. 17.8/20, 92/100.
Out of Step Wine Co. Denton View Hill Chardonnay 2016
‘I don’t want to make linear wines packing in generosity. I don’t want o make buttery and oaky wines either’ says Dave. There’s still some tropical mango hints in here, and its every bit the bright, peachy and generous style. Is it too full? Maybe, but then the finish isn’t really fat either. Good, but the Savvies are better. 17.5/20, 91/100
Out of Step Wine Co. Malakoff Pyrenees Nebbiolo 2015
The tannins look even better on this Nebb than last year. Light ferrous notes and you can taste the red earth. It’s still light for Neb, a light to medium bodied wine, but maintains some beauty, and gee the tannins pack in some detail. It’s still a step behind Langhe Nebbiolo, but on the Aussie Neb stage it’s a gold medal wine. 17.5/20, 91/100.