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South Africa has long been pursuing excellence in Chenin Blanc, some of their finer examples are considered some of the best in the world. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that a South African is taking Australian Chenin Blanc to the next level - ladies and gentleman, this is one serious Chenin Blanc.
In an effort to highlight the variety’s ability to articulately communicate terroir, Tripe.Iscariot owner/winemaker Remi Guise is releasing a pair of Margaret River subregional expressions of this often maligned grape. They were stunning to try back to back. This, the Wilyabrup wine, was our favourite.
It is a wine of immediate impact, bold and full flavoured. It has tension and depth, all in all, it is a remarkable achievement. Mike Bennie described it as a wine that “Races through the mouth in a savoury-citrussy flow, zig-zags and exits with a needle point of lovely bitterness. Smashing.”
Lovers of textural, powerful white wines are going to fall in love with this. Be quick, there are only 45 dozen of these in existence.
What It Tastes Like
Cap gun smoke, peach kernal, melons and nuts. Grapefruit and lemon tang with a long seam of flint running through its core. There’s something a little herbaceous or herbal in the background. Luscious texture, some grip and a laser beam of acid all tied up in the full flavour. Some leesy cheesyness in there as well for added complexity. Superb.
95 points “Fermented on skins for 8 days before basket-pressed into old barrels, staying on lees for 10 months. Straw-gold and bright; baked quince, pears with licorice root - smoky, smelling and tasting of pastis, grippy, chewy and phenolic but in a good way as it adds to the texture. A tight palate and dry, really dry on the finish.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
93+ points “This relatively new producer is exploring sub-regions through single vineyard chenin blanc. Here is a 30-year-old vineyard from Wilyabrup, Margaret River. It spends just over a week on skins, naturally ferments, goes to old oak for under a year. Texture, freshness and interest at play. These are exciting wines, albeit only 45 dozen produced of each.
This is tight, lean, racy, ultra-chalky, mouth-puckering white wine. Sheesh it’s good to drink. And bring on food, fat, sauce. It’s highly aromatic with wet fern, exotic spice, sandalwood, lime peel scents. Limey is good. Tonic water is good. That happens in palate too. Races through the mouth in a savoury-citrussy flow, zig-zags and exits with a needle point of lovely bitterness. Smashing.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Hand-picked from 30 year old vines and de-stemmed to open-fermentor. Fermented on skin for 9 days and basket pressed straight to old barrels, where the wine finished primary fermentation. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to occur and was stopped based on taste. The wine was barrel aged for 10 months, during which the barrels underwent battonage every two weeks. The wine was then removed from barrel, clarified and bottled.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Remi Guise is starting something very compelling in Western Australia. His idea for the winery tripe.Iscariot centres around the thesis that from ‘berry to stalk’ the whole of the plant should be used in the winemaking process. No waste, no ‘cleaning up’ of the wines. Driving to make the most character filled and unique wines that any site can produce. The wines are fascinating and complex. Dig in, his is a project to keep a close eye on.
Margaret River is recognised as one of the country’s finest wine growing regions. The quality of the region’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay rival the very best in the world. But Margaret River is no two-trick-pony. There, Tempranillo and Malbec are excelling, Touriga Nacional seems to be quite at home, Chenin Blanc is getting serious and even pockets of Nebbiolo are rearing their heads. Watch this space. Who knows what new surprises are just around the corner from this famous region.
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