New labels are what make this wine-writing gig interesting. A new story, new characters, new wines, new takes…
Wine is amazing.
Anyway, this Shiraz Viognier comes from Sapling Yard, a new label to me, based around a vineyard at Braidwood planted to a smorgasbord of varieties, with the range complemented by fruit from other NSW regions. The winemaking, with Carla Rodeghiero & Malcolm Burdett at the helm, is unorthodox, following the whim of the seasons and varieties, which makes for all sorts of oddities.
Carla and team are also using the old Lake George winery, which is great given that it was largely dormant. Over the past week or so I’ve seen a few Sapling Yard wines, and there is charisma in droves, with this Canberra district Shiraz Viognier is the pick of the lot. Polished and interesting.
The Sapling Yard Shiraz Viognier 2021 is all Canberra fruit from undisclosed vineyards, with 3% Viognier, and 30% whole bunches in the ferment. I’m guessing Murrumbateman or surrounds because it smells more than a little bit like my first wine.
I’ll never forget that smell, even if my wine was such a disaster.
That indelible nose is a purple fruit and dandelion fragrance thing. It’s sort of herbal, but juicy too. Why couldn’t my wine have turned out like this?
The Sapling Yard is bright, only medium bodied and purple fruited, with this plum and raspberry fruit and sense of lightness. It’s Pinot-esque rather than dark and deep, and it’s delicious. Maybe a smidgen lean to finish (and plenty of acidity), but elegance and flavour to convince. I’m a fan.
Best drinking: good now, will be alive for five years, no probs. 18/20, 93/100. 13.2%, $38 ( I think). Sapling Yard website. Would I buy it? A bottle for the nostalgia alone.
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