2018 Clairault Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
The nature of the 2016 to 2017 vintage is reminiscent of the 2009 growing season, because the amount of accumulated warmth up until early new year was remarkably similar. January temperatures were similar to historical data for the area, in contrast, February and March were a fraction cooler. Those who risked all by waiting for the Indian Summer, were rewarded with tannin ripeness and the retention of the most beautiful fruit perfumes at relatively low sugar levels. The 2017 vintage highlighted the importance of best practice vineyard management, focusing on the basics of open and well solarised canopies, with balanced crop loads, so that the fruit could ripen at a reasonable pace.
Semillon and Sauvignon blanc are all harvested separately according to their flavours and natural acidity balances. The fruit is cold pressed; the juice settled and then fermented using a variety of techniques. A portion is fermented in stainless steel at low temperatures to preserve freshness, while around 20 % of the cuvee if fermented in French oak barriques to provide textural and complexing elements. We matched a yeast strain specifically to this wine in order to enhance the natural varietal characters of passion fruit and gooseberry. When fermentation was complete, the wine was then aged on it’s lees with gentle battonage for about a month before bottling in July to retain freshness.
A Margaret River favourite, this wine is vibrant with aromas of nectarines, white pear, jasmine and freshly zested limes. On the palate, a crisp entry of white pear, gooseberries and white flowers is gently balanced by subtle French oak tones and lively acidity. Richer flavours of stone fruit are tempered by hints of cut grass, limes and gravel, leading to a finish of mineral persistence and fruit driven impact.
Up to 4 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.