Oaked sav doesn’t have to be a gateway wine to chardy… although it can be. There are some fine examples in Australia that really pay homage to their French roots. See our WINE 101 on Bordeaux and Loire to get a vibe on the style, but essentially you want BDX blanc? Go to Margs. You want Loire Valley finesse? Go to the Adelaide Hills.
Here are our TOP 5 wines:
Vasse Felix Sauvignon Blanc Semillon:
This has all the complexity and layers of flavour you could possibly want, but it’s wrapped up in an elegant and restrained case of oyster shell, older oak spice and bright citrus fruit. Ignore this at your peril.
Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills:
This is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest Savs, and for good reason. Pristine, elegant, cool climate sav at its best. This sells out every year and easily holds its own against the minerally precise and spicy renditions from Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Sauvignon Blanc:
Known the world over for the Art Series Chardonnay, the Leeuwin Art Series sav blanc is incredible. Lychee, guava, lime, fig and quince. The older oak component lends characters of blackcurrant and red berries. This must sound strange… but it is absolutely delicious. Complex. Dimensional. Elegant. Don’t miss it.
Swings & Roundabouts Sauvignon Blanc Semillon:
This is the bright fresh clean and lively rendition of Sancerre. Probably more tropical fruits and obviousness than its French cousin, but a good example of what comes from a region well known for its SSB prowess. If the Art Series is the one to put in the cellar, the Swings is the one you drink with dinner.
Now this is a wine. Not many know, but Dr Mike Peterkin (owner and winemaker at Pierro) was the first in the Margaret River region to properly pursue to the SSB blend in the 1970’s, which had until that time, been solely in the domain of the Bordelais. The ‘LTC’ in the label stands for “a little touch of chardonnay”. It is dry, savoury, even austere in its youth, but don’t be fooled – this wine ages gracefully, and is refined and classy. All good things in our book.