This is Savagnin* blanc. It’s not Sauvignon blanc, nor Albarino, although Australian growers thought it was until 2009 when one Jose Santiago threw a spanner in the works by spotting the error, and created a marketing dilemma. If we call it Savagnin blanc it looks like a typo. We could call it Traminer (which it also is) but we always called it Albarino. It’s a lot like Albarino. The Spanish grow it with Albarino. Its Albarin-ish.
A very complex wine, with layered flavours from a combination of a cool vintage, basket pressing, barrel fermentation in 3rd-year oak, and a minimalistic approach to finishing the wine for bottling. We have pushed the envelope hard with small batch winemaking in 2017, and to maximize flavour retention have deliberately not removed all the sediment that forms during the winemaking process. Do not be alarmed if the wine is slightly cloudy, it is fine to consume, and is a reminder to us that wine is a natural product.
Tasting Note for 2017 Albarin-ish
Pale golden colour, at this age a sign of its clever cellar handling.
The nose is quite subdued but with a floral, almost blossomy character, a faint touch of allspice and a whiff of damp earth after a morning shower.
The wine’s real complexity unfolds on the palate. It’s all about texture and layers of flavour. The mouthfeel has both weight and plushness, combining to give it a satiny expression of luxury.
The fruit flavours are evolved, peachy one moment, ground cashews the next. There’s a minerality on the finish – is that Peel chalk? – that pulls the whole concert to order.
Will Nairn and his crew might not have been certain about the variety, but this is a wine that knows what it is and how to express itself. More please.