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Saperavi is an ancient Georgian variety, one of the few wine grapes with red flesh, that makes very robust wines of big character and flavour. The variety can be a little tricky at times, but its power is tamed wonderfully here by winemaker, Jo Marsh. The Squid (so named for its inky colour in the glass) is a new addition to Jo's range. _“On its own Saperavi can be really floral and herbal, too hard to have more than a glass. But I added one third amphora component and it just really softened it out and brought a different savoury edge to the wine”_, she told us during our tasting. Clever winemaking and a focus on the fruit has made this a great example of the variety. As with all the alternate varieties in the Billy Button range, this is a great place to start if you want to see what this curious grape is all about.
What it Tastes Like
"This is a robust, throaty expression of the variety, warm and full of flavour. It’s no shrinking violet. Inky blackberries, floral aspects, dried herbs and iodine. The fruit is presented on a squeaky clean platter; there’s little to no oak character apparent, in flavour terms at least. It feels warm and very ripe, but then keen acidity helps keeps both in check. Interesting wine to say the least." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
94 points. "Vinified in two parcels: the first destemmed and open wild-fermented, matured in used barriques for 15 months; the second parcel wild-fermented in a terracotta amphora and left on skins for 6 months, then transferred to a used puncheon for a further 9 months maturation before blending. Deep, dense purple-crimson; extremely concentrated and powerful; the complex vinification has worked very well indeed - natural winemaking in reverse. The profile is interesting, because the extract is so even, with no more tannins on the finish than the first sip." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 89 points. "This is a robust, throaty expression of the variety, warm and full of flavour. It’s no shrinking violet. Inky blackberries, floral aspects, dried herbs and iodine. The fruit is presented on a squeaky clean platter; there’s little to no oak character apparent, in flavour terms at least. It feels warm and very ripe, but then keen acidity helps keeps both in check. Interesting wine to say the least." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Sourced from the 'Smith' vineyard at Merriang South. One third fermented in clay amphora, the other parts in old oak casks.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2023
About the Producer
Billy Button is one of our favourite wineries. As Jo Marsh continues to expand her brilliant boutique range she continues to impress us to no end.
Her commitment to alternative varietals with amazing drinkability is one of the most charming aspects of her label. This combined with a ferocious passion for her home in the Alpine Valleys and the growers that produces there, makes Billy Button a one-of-a-kind.
The Alpine Valley is one of the ‘must watch’ emerging regions of Australian wine. Not bound by the traditions of some of the more ‘established’ regions, the Alpine Valley is experimenting with ‘alternative’ varieties from all over the world and kicking some huge goals. The productions are small, the quality is high and this cool climate region is on a mission to stamp its authority on Australian wine. And they are doing one hell of a job.
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