This wine is a very sauvignon blanc influenced semillon sauvignon blanc blend from Wills Domain in the Margaret River. It opens to clarion like passionfruit and gooseberry aromas. The palate is crisp and ready to drink, with a roundness to the body its primary clue to its semillon portion. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5. Price: $20. Website: https://willsdomain.com.au/winery-yallingup/. Source: Sample. Reviewed: April 2020.
This is a sound and varietal sauvignon blanc from Wills Domain in the Margaret River under the Mystic Spring label. It has aromas of lemon and passionfruit. The palate is unoaked, fruity and medium bodied in style. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 11.9. Price: $25. Website: willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: January 2020.
This is a lovely sauvignon blanc from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully. It’s from a closely planted (1.5m x 1.5m spacing) vineyard and fermented in old French oak before ageing in barrel for 8 months. In the glass, there are aromatics of meal, together with gooseberry and lemons. The palate has fresh, racy acidity and presents with a refined balance. Ready to drink now, this is an attractive style. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.9%. Price: $40. Website: http://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.
Very pale in colour, this rosé from Wills Domain in the Margaret River is a blend of 85% shiraz and 15% sauvignon blanc. In the glass, it has a fruity aroma of ripe red strawberries. The palate has a soft body but firm acidity. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.6%. Price: NA. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.
d’Arenberg’s “The Broken Fishplate” is a well made sauvignon blanc from the Adelaide Hills. It has bright aromas of lemon, grass and pear. The palate has fresh acidity and a nice balance. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price:$20. Website: darenberg.com.au. Source: Sample.
Thousand Candles was launched in the Yarra Valley with a lot of hype, an on trend ethos of site expression, a stellar price ($100) and some gushing reviews. I think some of those reviewers might be a bit embarrassed now. 2011 was the first vintage of Thousand Candles and it’s an unorthodox blend of 92% syrah, 6% pinot noir and 2% sauvignon blanc. 2011 is a poor red vintage in the Yarra Valley, so this must be factored in. In the glass, the wine has quite an unusual aroma that reminds of mushroom (not things like mushrooms, actual mushrooms), earth, red berries, leather, damp rosemary, grass and tinned peas. The contribution of the sauvignon blanc and the whole bunch fermentation is undeniable, though ultimately, I found these characters more grating than enjoyable, as the tinned pea and the damp whole bunch aromas simply overwhelmed. The palate is better. It’s delicate, with medium length and a nice silky balance to it, but seems to lack intensity of fruit expression and is unexpectedly light and simple, a victim of the vintage. It certainly appears to have reached its drinking window. Indeed, I wouldn’t keep this wine much longer. Overall, this is a disappointing wine, that promises much and delivers more smoke than fire. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: not recorded. Price: $100+. Website: www.thousandcandles.com.au.
This is a complex rendition of sauvignon Blanc from Ten Minutes by Tractor in the Mornington Pensinsula. It has a nutty and gooseberry like aroma. The palate is firmly acidic, with a yellow grapefruit like linearity. Ready to drink now, this wine can be approached over the next couple of years. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $28. Source: Sample.
This is a very pleasant sauvignon blanc from Domaine Mollet-Maudry in Sancerre in the Loire Valley. A yellow gold in colour, it opens to aromas of grass, herbs and minerals. The palate has high acidity, a medium to full body and is racy, but not austere in bearing. This wine is ready to drink now, but can be drunk over the next couple of years. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $20s.
This wine has a bit of everything in it. Oaked chardonnay, oaked sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer and petit manseng. I can imagine the blending sessions were a lot of fun, or challenging or both. From New England in northern New South Wales, the Topper’s Mountain capsule has Italian style paper wrapping which makes the initial pour a little impractical as the sticker seeks, with some determination, to attach itself to the glass. The wine itself, though, is a good one. The gewurtz makes the dominant impression on the nose, with its distinctive siren song of lychees. The palate is relatively round and approachable and also gewurtz influenced, but there is a steely backbone too from the higher acid varieties in the blend, namely the sauvignon blanc and petit manseng. A well put together blend that is approachable now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $30. Source: Sample.