The Port Phillip Estate Sauvignon is a single site wine produced from 0.65 hectares of estate vineyard.
September 2015 welcomed the beginning of budburst leading to a dry and warm spring. October was 3 degrees above the average temperature and El Niño affected the amount of rain we received. Vine vigour was controlled due to the lack of rainfall with the canopy generous and open. Fruitfulness was up from the previous vintage and flowering and fruit set occurred unhindered. Veraison commenced in early January.
The period between January and mid-March was warmer than historically usual and harvest began at the same time in February as recent vintages. Conditions remained very dry and warm throughout the harvest period, it was a compact vintage finishing in mid-March. The viticultural team worked steadily throughout harvest and delivered healthy and energetic fruit, with ripeness and acidity well balanced.
The fruit was whole bunch pressed and fermented without yeast inoculation in old French oak barriques. Once dry, the wine was left sur lie for several months prior to bottling. The wine was bottled without fining and with minimal filtration.
Brightly aromatic with intense notes of lemon barley, pea shoots, guava and passionfruit. The palate starts with taut, linear power and lengthens into a lees influenced creaminess that is rounded out with vibrant acidity.
A relatively unusual but welcome and indeed, refreshing take on this variety in Australia. More reminiscent of Loire Valley expressions with lanolin, quince, candied grapefruit and stone fruit notes; verdant fennel pungency lingering in the background. There is nothing exuberantly tropical or sherbet-lime about this wine and it is all the more restrained, savoury and drinkable because of it. Barrel fermented with ambient yeast, with plenty of time on lees clearly helping to build tension, composure and complexity. Bravo!
Ned Goodwin MW
The dropping of the ‘blanc’ from the label is a hint on what is going on inside the bottle – a clear intention to differentiate itself from the mass of crazily tropical fruit punch-styled sauvignon blanc. Here the winemaking includes the modern box ticks: wild yeast, whole bunches, stems and all in the mix, and older barrel settling. The taste is more genteel, more fragrant with lemon cream/key lime pie senses, and a comforting palate-pleasing fulfillment.
Fennel, guava, spice and grapefruit. It’s full flavoured, lightly chalky in texture, has a subtle pithy bitterness, a gentle vanilla perfume and finishes long and clean with a tinned grapefruit aftertaste (and boy did I love that stuff as a kid!). Rolls in complexity and ease of drinking. Ripper.