|Wine||Penfold’s 2014 Cellar Reserve|
|Maturation||6 Months in French Oak|
|Wine Maker||Peter Gago|
Good evening once again to all you wine lovers out there.
Tonight I am visiting my most despised of varietals, the Sauvignon Blanc. Typically, I do not really care much for this variety, usually I find them too acidic and quite bland in their texture and unbalanced. However, this wine is a little different. Usually, Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t get to see the likes of oak treatment as like Riesling, it spends its time maturing in a big steal vat. However, they have become a little bit creative over at Penfold’s and decided to show this variety 6 months of a variety of new, old and seasoned French oak. As a majority of you might know, oak maturation adds its own characteristics to a wine. Generally, we associate oak with the flavours of, spices, tobacco leaf, chocolate, mocha, cedar wood, birch, coffee, toffee and the like. We tend to see it used vastly in Australian red wine production, however, not many white wines get the oak treatment. Chardonnay and Semillon the exception as they are a bolder grape that benefits from maturation in oak. Secondly, oak treatment also takes out all the sharpness in a wine. (Think of Riesling), this wine is known for its prickly and mineral characters. Sauvignon Blanc displays these characters too, but with this one seeing time in oak, one would suspect those characters to take a back seat in this wine.
Now to the wine.
Colour: Pale Gold
Aroma: Passion fruit, soft lashes of spice and savoury tones play out in the glass, even the passion fruit is not a sweet aroma, it is like I said the pulp of a passion-fruit and it is easy to forget the smell of a good ripe passion fruit compared to passionfruit flavoured things. Sticking on the savoury elements, this wine shows some form of asparagus, or curry leaves on the nose too, even the slight nuance of melted butter might come across as well. It is quite unstylistic in aroma profile to what we would see from this Variety. Usually you get traces of grass, lime zests, apple, white peach, passionfruit, kiwifruit, guava. There are elements of Sauvignon Blanc there, the passionfruit, but the oak has brought its own flavours along too, the spices and the buttery tones in the aroma profile of this wine are not what you would find from this variety that has not been matured in oak.
Palate: Delicate, generous and quite rich in the mouth. The oak has eliminated any chance of crispness to come through and in turn added more body and richness to the palate. This wine is well structured, and you can taste the passionfruit in the wine along with the complexity of spice from the oak backing it up. Soft touches of nutmeg and cinnamon provide an extra depth to this wine, thanks to its time spent in oak. The finish is soft and delicate with it tailing off into curry leaf/asparagus territory.
Personal Thoughts: For me, this is my kind of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s well-structured and shows a lot more character than the traditional Australian or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s. It is a little bit fancy. If you are the type of person to refer to this Variety as Sav-Blanc or Savvy B; then this wine would not be one for you. I don’t think you’d go for the extra dimensions this wine has to offer and more to the point, you’re most likely the type of person who drinks wine socially and not so much for the enjoyment of the actual wine, and thus you couldn’t really give a rat’s arse about all this extra dimension stuff. There’s nothing wrong with that though. Anyone who enjoys wine has my tick of approval. However, like I stated, probably not a wine you’ll enjoy and not typical to what you’re used to either. For those of you whom are sceptical about this variety though, give this one a chance. Its dimension and complexity in my opinion make it quite outstanding.
Drink: Now to 2018
The SA Wine Guy