(2020) Unlike the more austere examples of the Clare Valley in South Australia, this Western Australian wine has a gentler acid profile and the merest, softening nuance of sweetness too. It opens aromatically with lime, blossom and minerals, a touch of beeswax polish, but that little nod towards generosity sings on the palate, loads of freshness and there is absolutely no shortage of driving acidity, but the whole picture is balanced, tempered and approachable.
(2020) This spends eight months in Louis Latour barrels, partly from Meursault, mostly two and three years old. Gorgeous crushed oatmeal and flint nose, a touch of vanilla toast and honey, and very fresh pear and apple fruit. The palate has limpid, pure and quite plush fruit and juiciness, but that fine stony, flinty character adds a lovely edge, the acid lemony and fresh, but with that saline touch that is so mouth-watering and fresh. There is density to the fruit, and concentration, but great finesses and freshness. £15.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2019) What a great example of how Margaret River is helping to redefine Austalian Chardonnay. Whole-bunch pressed, fermented in French oak with natural yeasts, and matured in a combination of small and large French oak barrels for nine months. It opens with a whiff of flint and gunpowder over ripe peach and pear, just a touch of creamy oak too. In the mouth it is sweet-fruited and intense, but there is great clarity and drive here too, the acid nicely judged and a taut precision to the finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) From an estate-grown single vineyard, and predominantly from the Gin Gin clone. The wine was barrel fermented and aged in a mix of new and used French oak. Very discreet, just gentle spearmint and toast but the fruit fresh and pristine. Juicy and firm on the palate, the acid is the spine of this, apple and taut and fresh salt and mineral flavours persisting into a balanced finish.
(2018) Made from the Gin Gin clone, this spend 10 months in new and older French oak, both barriques and larger puncheons. Mealy and almondy, a touch of roasted orange, lovely nuttiness and a touch buttery. Ripe and full, on the palate - much more so than the Lenton Brae - verging on the tropical, but still with gorgeous acids. Stockist and price quoted at time of review is single bottle equivalent, but available only by the case.
(2018) A higher proportion of fruit from the south of the region than the first two wines. This was whole-bunch pressed to extract only free-run juice, fermented and aged 11 months in new and older barrels, with regular lees stirring. It's the first wine to exhibit the complex sulphide character, a touch of flint and roasted quality, but again very clean. Fine, balanced, quite fat lemon rind character, delicious balance again, the mint and vanilla just filling in against that salty background. Only 12.5% alcohol here, perhaps a combination of the cooler southerly vineyards and earlier picking
(2018) Another wine that is 100% Gin Gin clone, whole-bunch pressed into French oak (25% new) with spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts. No malolactic. Very subdued, a touch of saltiness but very subtle - too subtle? The palate has plenty of lemony fruit, good drive from the acidity, just a touch of nuttiness filling in
(2016) A 70/30 blend of the two grapes, this spent 10 months in French oak and was part wild yeast fermented. Bruce Dukes, ex Francis Ford Coppola, makes the wines in Margaret River, and what a beautiful nose this has with almond, fig and honey, distinct creaminess but also the pungent character of the Sauvignon. The palate has wonderful nectarine juiciness but bags of finesse too. It's reminiscent of fragrant and delicate white Graves, with a long finish that is juicy and pin-sharp, but cushioned by the sheen of oak.
(2010) Nice toast and cashew nut richness here, with a lemony succulence to the fruit. Nice creaminess and a touch of dried apricot. The palate is refined with a dry, elegant fruit quality. Pithy and clean, the twist of lime extending the finish beautifully.