James Halliday's Top 100 Wines of 2020
Best Sauvignon Blanc James Halliday's Wine Companion 2022
“Cold-settled for 2 months, a technique developed by Brian Croser, but rarely duplicated. Fermentation in used 600l demi-muids, then matured on full lees for eight months. The result is very complex, but the fruit is undaunted, with layers of lemon curd, citrus and a whisper of honey.” 96 points, James Halliday.
“More in common with oak-aged Sancerre than classic New World Sauvignon, this builds from the mid-palate with its texture and insinuating depth, as opposed to dazzling, upfront aromatics. Seamless layers of white peach, ripe grapefruit, perfumed green apple, dried herbs, pastis, marrowfat peas and earth unfold on the long, lingering palate, with savoury lees and supple lime acidity. Fermented and lees-aged in old French oak demi-muids.” 94 points, Decanter Magazine.
“An excellent wine, one of focus, precision and texture. Complex and heady mix, approaching peach and something like frangipane. There’s a residual oak hint that bolsters the aromatics, segueing to the palate. Oak is present, adding texture and tannin, acid is fresh and driving across the finish providing focal length. Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe the mantel of Australia’s finest Sauvignon Blanc has been accepted.” 94 points Stuart Robinson, thevinsomniac.com.
Wrattonbully’s a great region that few have heard of - amazing given it directly joins Coonawarra’s northeastern boundary. It shares a similar climate to Coonawarra (and Bordeaux), as well as the same prized terra rossa soil over limestone, although the limestone in Wrattonbully is much older than in Coonawarra. In fact, the limestone caves that sit below Wrattonbully are part of the Naracoorte Caves National park, South Australia’s only World Heritage site.
Brian Croser acquired the Koppamurra Vineyard, one of the original two, in 2002, renaming it the Whalebone Vineyard, after the bones of a massive whale were found beneath it. Lucy Croser and Xavier Bizot bought a site next door to this in 2004, calling it the Crayères Vineyard, literally translating to ‘chalk pit’, Xavier tells me it’s also a local Champagne term for the network of cellars carved into the limestone there. Conditions here are very similar to St Emilion in Bordeaux. In 2008 they planted cabernet, shiraz, cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc. The vineyard is not certified organic but is managed with minimal use of chemicals.
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