In my post, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class, 2 March 2011, I talked about how New Zealand winemakers had developed new styles of sauvignon blanc that, while retaining the style’s signature vibrant acidity, exhibit more restrained fruit tropical aromatics and a more evolved mid-palate with a longer, creamier finish.
In Australia, Geoff Weaver of the eponymous Adelaide Hills winery has taken Australia’s sauvignon blanc in a new direction with his Ferus Sauvignon Blanc. As Weaver explains, the aim was to create a wine reflective of its vineyard origin and with as little intervention as possible.
Like his innovative New Zealand counterparts, Weaver uses indigenous yeast from the vineyard. The wine spends 12 months on lees in second use French oak barriques with some stirring. The result is a rich yet understated and less fruity aromatic sauvignon blanc with a rich mid-palate exhibiting creamy and lanolin notes, and a lingering mineral finish.
First made in 2004, the wine has been very well received. James Halliday gave the 2009 vintage 96 points and included it in his Top 100 Wines for 2010:
This is “the other” Weaver sauvignon blanc, wild fermented in French oak barriques and given 12 months lees contact. No acid was added nor was the wine fined. A striking contrast to all other Australian sauvignon blancs that delivers great complexity and equally great intensity. It also has greater longevity than other sauvignon blancs. (James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion)
Weaver is one of the pioneers of the Adelaide Hills regions. The former chief winemaker for Hardy’s, Weaver, and his wife Judith. planted the vineyard … Read the rest