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A different look at Chenin Blanc here from winemaker Dan Graham. This 55-year-old block of Chenin is speckled with a few stray vines of Gewürztraminer, he picked the lot and fermented it all together. The wine was then aged in oak casks, 1/3 of which were brand new Russian oak barrels. To try the wine you'd never pick it. The time in wood adding depth and perhaps a little oak tannin rather than out-and-out flavour. Whatever happened in those barrels has worked out a treat - this is absolutely one of the most interesting versions of Chenin from this part of the country. Mike Bennie certainly echoes this sentiment in his stirring 94 point review where he calls this "quite beautiful in its expression, layered, intense and delicious. This is a coup." Only 140 dozen made.
What it Tastes Like
Little waxy with aromas of fresh honey comb, toffee and bruised apples. Slippery and glossy palate which is framed by perky, crystalline acidity. Soft tannins and a flavours of cumquat and sherbet. Cool look at Chenin, should be more like it.
94 points "Killer wine. Laden with personality, the perfume is honeyed, buttery, but cut with ripe citrus and green apple freshness. It’s a powerful start that segues to weighty but silky textured, clean lined, lengthy flavour and texture that feels pithy and juicy at once. Really good thrust and drive, quite beautiful in its expression, layered, intense and delicious. This is a coup." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Grown on 55-year-old vines. Fermented and aged in oak, one thrid of which was new Russian wood. Fermented naturally. Unfined, unfiltered.
Closure: Diam Cork
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2020
About the Producer
From one of the country’s most recognisable wine operations comes this winemaker with a desire to create something new. Dan Graham has quietly started Sigurd with the intention of exploring a more gentle and hands off approach to the winemaking process. The wines are textural and mercurial but always interesting. It’s just the beginning for this label and the future looks extremely promising.
The Barossa has a big reputation. Big in every sense of the word. Known for producing blockbusting examples of impenetrable old vine Shiraz and Grenache envied by much of the world, it is a region that should be celebrated as the region that first put Australian wine on the map. Now, with a new generation of winemakers reinventing the region, there’s more than just power in the Barossa’s bag of tricks. With a move toward picking earlier and pulling back on oak maturation, there’s a fresher, more subtle side to Barossa wine which offers plenty to the modern Australian wine lover.
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