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When the Australian Wine industry thought they were onto the next big thing in wine with the imported variety Albarino, they were devastated to find that it was, in fact, another very similar grape that they had on their hands, Savagnin.
Many wineries discarded the grape and ventured forth in search of the new next big thing, some stuck with it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you Savagnin, make the best damn Savagnin you can.
This is one of the most interesting examples of this grape on the Australian market. Soumah in the Yarra Valley have championed this variety, making no fewer than three versions from the 2015 vintage. For our money, this was the most fascinating of the three. It was fermented wild in oak and matured on full solids for 9 months before release.
This is an altogether different beast to the stock standard Savagnin, it is textural and complex - combining the striking citrus characters of the variety with “some funk from the solids and wild yeast.”
It’s both interesting and deliciously drinkable - a top example of this often overlooked variety.
What It Tastes Like
“Works a treat! Immediately this has more presence on the nose compared to the Savarro, the barrel ferment characters giving this a quite complementary edge of coconut shavings to go with the white flower and light pear varietal character. There’s more texture and weight on the palate too, with a fraction more phenolic grip compared to the standard wine. I like the texture, I like the intensity and I like the more complex mouthfeel, with yeast and barrel characters very complementary to the tart, vaguely floral Savagnin. More work, more fun. Nice wine.” - Andrew Graham (Australian Wine Review)
92 points. “Sourced from the Hexham vineyard, this is 5 tonnes of Savagnin made with full solids, wild ferment in barrel and 9 months in oak. Works a treat! Immediately this has more presence on the nose compared to the Savarro, the barrel ferment characters giving this a quite complementary edge of coconut shavings to go with the white flower and light pear varietal character. There’s more texture and weight on the palate too, with a fraction more phenolic grip compared to the standard wine. I like the texture, I like the intensity and I like the more complex mouthfeel, with yeast and barrel characters very complementary to the tart, vaguely floral Savagnin. More work, more fun. Nice wine. Best drinking: 2016-2019. 17.8/20, 92/100. 13.2%, $33. Would I buy it? I’d smash a bottle no probs.”
- Andrew Graham (Australian Wine Review)
92 points “Deliciously flavoured and textured”
- Jeremy Oliver (Australian Wine Annual)
95 points “Assertive and Rich”
- Ian Bailey (A Top Drop)
Tasting notes Savagnin is an ancient variety that has been around since the 10th century. It has become a parent to many of today’s modern grapes.
This wine is made using minimal intervention on full solids to create a textural and complex wine. With hallmark citrus acidity and excellent intensity fused together with the brooding flavours of age old tradition.
Winemaking So intriguing to us is Savagnin we’ve not only continued exploring its unique pulpy lemon tang, spicy honey and zippy acid flavour profiles as a cool tank ferment Savarro but, last vintage, we made something altogether a little more funky.
We took five tonnes of Savagnin fruit and pressed it into barrels with full solids and let the wild yeasts ferment naturally. We then matured it in these barrels for nine months. We call this Wild Savagnin and although reminiscent of our Savarro, it is something even more textural, showing some funk from the solids and wild yeast. We think this Wild Savagnin will stand the test of time and age beautifully for 15 or more years. - 7.8 standard drinks - 13.2% alcohol
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Soumah’s iconic “duck egg blue” label has become synonymous with Yarra Valley quality. They produce small amounts of high-quality Yarra Valley staple varieties including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah but one of their more interesting preoccupations is with the much talked about Savagnin grape. As they continue to push the envelope of their winemaking capabilities and drill down into the nuance to be found in clonal selection, they are steadily raising their standing amongst the best producers in the Region.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
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