As you may already know we’ve sold right out of the Sparkling Pinot Noir after a really busy December and January. Obviously, it made an appearance at a number of Christmas Day and New Year events! But we’re excited about having it back in-store by January 31st.
And, you’re probably also well aware of another couple of favourites missing from our list. So, while I’m at it, here are some important dates for your diary…
Sparkling Shiraz (2018): due for release in late Feb/early March
Sauvignon Blanc (2021): it depends on how this vintage finishes up but its release is likely late May/early June
Rose (2022): it depends on how this vintage finishes up but its release is likely late June
Obviously, I will keep you all updated as this vintage 2021 progresses, so watch this space for further information.
So, while you’re waiting for your favourite to return, why not find another one??!!
Here are my picks along with a few reasons why I think you’ll love them…
What is a Fumé Blanc I hear you ask?
Most of us are familiar with Fumé Blanc (from the French words meaning “smoke” and “white”) being made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes in a style similar to Chardonnay.
But here is the rest of the story…
Fumé Blanc is a name that legendary Napa Valley winemaker Robert Mondavi developed for a wine style made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes during the 1960s. In those days, wines made with Sauvignon Blanc were very unpopular in America. They were considered too sweet, too sour, too grassy and generally unbalanced.
Inspired by the great French white wines (like wines from Sancerre of the Loire Valley), Mondavi knew he would be able to make exceptional wines with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. So, he created the name, Fumé Blanc. The style of wine he made had a deep oakiness with rich, more well-rounded sweet melon flavours. The wine became an instant hit.
Mondavi did not copyright or trademark the name, and other winemakers quickly began producing Fumé Blanc wines.
Here are Rob’s tasting notes for our 2018 Somerled version…
Most Sauvignon Blanc wines spend their entire life before bottling in stainless steel tank(s).
And it’s usually a pretty short life too! Our Fumé Blanc is different.
Granted, it does spend a few days in stainless steel as juice and then as fermenting juice, but then we pump it into barrels to finish off fermentation. It stays in the barrels for malolactic fermentation and then for maturation – typically another 7-8 months.
That is very much the same as with our Chardonnay, and that’s why there are similarities in the aromas and flavours of our Fumé and our Chardonnay.
It’s still very much a sauvignon blanc, but I love the additional character provided by this processing.
There’s mango and peach on the nose and the soft rich palate has these – plus nougat, cashew and a lovely crisp lingering finish.
This is a terrific wine which will age very nicely for 3 or 4 years or more. It’s great with flavoursome fish such as snapper or barramundi.
It’s such a shame that Chardonnay, in general, gets such a bad rap.
Yes, Chardonnay has a history of being heavily oaked and overly alcoholic, but that was soooo last century.
These days, Chardonnay can be elegant. And our Somerled Chardonnay is just that.
The grapes are picked nice and early to retain a nice level of acidity and to make sure the resulting wine isn’t too “big” when it comes to alcohol content.
And while it is oaked, it is done so in “seasoned” barrels (meaning they have been used a couple of times already) for only 7 or 8 months. That means the oak influence doesn’t over-power the beautiful Chardonnay flavours.
It is well worth another try if you haven’t done so for a while… or, *gasp* if you have never tried it!
Here are Rob’s thoughts on our 2018 Chardonnay…
The 2018 Chardonnay vintage was really nice across the board – lovely elegant wines with length and style.
The Somerled 2018 Chardonnay lives up to that image. It has a fine depth of colour that’s most inviting, the nose has a gentle spiciness to go with the melony/buttery chardonnay aromas and the soft savoury palate finishes with a comfortable viscosity that keeps the flavours going.
Like all our chardonnays, it will continue to get fuller with time – maybe not as rich as the 2010 or the 2013 for example – and I will be hanging on to a few with anticipation!
It’s perfect with seafood, chicken and gently spiced dishes.
Our 2020 Chardonnay will be heading down the bottling line in just a few weeks, so we have plenty to keep Heather… oh, I mean, all of us… going!
The Light Dry Red (LDR) has been a massive hit this summer. If you haven’t tried it yet, then I suggest you grab a cold bottle and do so as quickly as humanly possible!
Not sure what the LDR is? Read more about it in this post.