Reviewed 24 January 2013
I was interested to read in the Financial Review that their wine reviewer Tim White had not formally tasted any sauvignon blanc in 2012. This must be very disheartening for the many hundreds of wineries who have sent samples in to be tasted.
I am pleased to say that I have reviewed numerous sauvignon blanc based wines in the last 12 months. Admittedly, like in this tasting, not many make it through to print, but those that do are thoroughly worthy of attention.
At the bargain end of the spectrum, the Houghton and Yalumba offer a lot of wine for the price, while the Killerby and Stella Bella demonstrate just how good the lightly oaked style can be. These are quite serious wines that are better suited to sipping over a meal than glugging on a warm afternoon.
Killerby – Sauvignon Blanc – 2012 (17.3). There are gentle barrel ferment and lees aromas to start, followed by match-strike and flinty fruit that has a lovely grassy edge with lemony highlights. The palate is complex, with the worked characters balanced by good quality oak. This is a nicely judged wine where the winemaker’s inputs are apparent, but do not dominate the fruit. Spicy, this should continue to evolve with a couple of years in bottle.
Stella Bella – Sauvignon Blanc – 2012 (17.2). Cooler fruit on display showing herbaceous aromas with lantana and passionfruit. The palate is fresh, displaying racy acidity matched to gentle tropical fruits. The length is excellent and the mouth-feel spot-on. A satisfying and complete wine that would suit seafood perfectly.
Forester Estate – Sauvignon Blanc – 2012 (17+). Clean, fresh and racy, with just a touch of barrel ferment/lees work to add depth to the palate. Textured, the lemony fruit is the main feature here and there is excellent acidity and length to close. Lightly oaked and all the better for it.
Houghton – White Classic – 2012 (16.8). Muted nose with cut grass and a touch of floral aromas. The palate is vibrant and lively. There is a touch of viscosity, good depth to the fruit and the touch of residual sugar balances the fresh acidity well. Excellent summer drinking.
Yalumba – Sauvignon Blanc – Y Series – 2012 (16.7). Aromatic nose, with grassy aromas and a herbal lift. Follows through on a palate that is a little broader and has a touch of phenolic astringency that, when combined with the acid, makes this a refreshing drink. Nicely put together.
Lindeman’s – Sauvignon Blanc – Bin 95 – 2012 (16). A clean and fresh nose that has grassy fruit over tropical hints. Straightforward, and well made, this is a good commercial wine.