Tag: Pierro

May 05 2014

Semillon Sauvignon Blanc: a blend that Margaret River has made its own

Posted on May 05, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

When you’re in the mood for sauvignon blanc, you’re probably more inclined to reach for a bottle of Marlborough sauvignon blanc than a White Sancerre –  a sauvignon blanc from the Sancerre appellation in the eastern part of the Loire Valley in France. In fact, when I opened a bottle of Sancerre on the weekend, a sauvignon blanc loving friend of mine exclaimed “what’s that?”

The blend of semillon sauvignon blanc also has its origins in France. It’s the dry white wine of Bordeaux. The percentage of  semillon to sauvignon blanc varies depending on the appellation, and the best expressions of the blend come from the Pessac-Léognan and Graves. But while Pessac-Léognan’s Haut Brion Blanc has been described as the “Montrachet of Bordeaux” and sells for more than $1,000 a bottle, most people aren’t that familiar with White Bordeaux.

Semillon sauvignon blanc or sauvignon blanc semillon fans in Australia typically seek out one of the fine examples of the style from Western Australia’s Margaret River, a region that’s been perfecting the blend for 35 years.

This year the Pierro winery in the Willyabrup sub-region of Margaret River is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Pierro Semillon Sauvignon Blanc L.T.C.  Pierro’s proprietor, Dr Mike Peterkin, actually introduced the blend to the Margaret River in 1979 when he was making wine for Cullen’s. While he admits to borrowing the idea of blending the two varieties from the French, he does give himself credit for creating a new style, which emphasised aromatics, freshness and fruit character. His new take on a traditional blend was partly achieved through maturing the wine in stainless steel tanks as opposed to then French practice of maturing the wine in oak barrels.

That a semillon sauvignon blanc blend would do so well in Margaret River is … Read the rest

Nov 11 2010

Showcasing the Margaret River in Sydney

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com wine critic, recently said, “Margaret River has already achieved great things, but not as great as what will follow.” (Final Thoughts on Margaret River, June 2010).

In less than 45 years the Margaret River, one of the most geographically isolated wine making regions in the world, has garnered an extraordinary level of recognition both in Australia and overseas.

And as a recent showcase of 25 labels from the region at the MCA in Sydney last week attests, the Margaret River is still an extremely dynamic and emerging wine region. In addition to the icon wineries, which include Vasse Felix, Moss Wood, Leeuwin Estate and Cullen,  a growing number of small, family-run wineries are making wines of distinction, and many new and long-established wineries are successfully experimenting with a range of different varieties and blends.

Margaret River has long been synonymous with Bordeaux style cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends. Indeed, at the Showcase I overheard a number of guests say that they were restricting their tastings just to the reds. But Margaret River also makes outstanding chardonnay (Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and Pierro Chardonnay are rated ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Outstanding’ respectively in Langton’s 2010 Classification of Australian Wine), and many of the wineries make excellent sauvignon blanc/semillon and semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

For such a young wine region Margaret River has an enviable number of celebrated wineries.  Xanadu, Woodlands, Voyager Estate, Fraser Gallop Estate, Lenton Brae, Wise Wine, Cape Mentelle, Brookland Valley, Celestial Bay, Fermoy Estate, Flametree Wines, Juniper Estate were some of the stand-outs from a long list of acclaimed wineries which were represented at the showcase. Yalumba, the famous brand more commonly associated with the Barossa and Coonawarra, showcased its … Read the rest