The preceding wet winter was followed by a cool spring giving a late start to the growing season, but wonderful sunshine and settled weather gave excellent set (fruitful flowers into berries) and thus great crop potential across all varieties. With a mild summer warming up in December and January, punctuated by only a few hot days, veraison (colouring and softening of berries) came three weeks later than 2016 giving one of the latest yet highest quality vintages on record. The whites had a mineral core floral intensity which is quite beguiling.
The aromatics are fine and minerally with ripe green apple skin, fresh lemongrass with hints of freshly cut lucerne hay. There are hints of frangipane, walnut skin, overlaying a subtle flintiness and savoury curd element that adds to the complexity and intrigue of this wine.
On the palate there runs a core of great mineral stone with an explosion of citrus juice; lime, lemon and grapefruit all spring to mind. The marine origins leap forth in a salty iodine element, yet this is tightly wound as a spring with a freshness and vibrancy which will slowly unfurl with some time in bottle. There is an inviting sappy, green juiciness that offers some intriguing floral notes, coupled with hints of walnut skin and a preserved lemon complexity.
Light hay with bright green edges.
Freshly caught cod in a butter and parsley sauce, king fish in a sherry cream sauce, or a lemongrass infused stir fry with crispy tofu and soba noodles all match this wine superbly. The wonderful curd savouriness of a spanokopita with fresh feta and spinach wrapped in filo pastry, offsets both the minerality and leesy nature of this wine. Or a tempura fried scallop with szechuan salt helps to display the sweet fruit elements.
Our best blocks of sauvignon and semillon are planted on free draining lateritic gravel with a layer of clay appearing at variable depths. Selected from our two sites of Trinders and Chapman Brook vineyards, we capture a wide array of flavour and aromatic spectrums; the sauvignon blanc bringing floral, citrus and a slight iodine character, the semillon bringing more honey and lanolin elements. The sauvignon blanc has a more shaded canopy to protect the delicate aromas whilst the semillon sees more sunlight to gain added richness and mid palate weight.