Stella Bella, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River, Australia, 2018
It is not merely in the names where these wines are memorable, as once you have tasted them you will see why Luke Jolliffe, the winemaker, continues to receive recognition and awards from around the world for wines that have that wonderful Margaret River restraint and elegance, but are bound together with a fruit purity that makes them delectable.
Several vineyard sites are included in the making of this blended wine. All the Sauvignon Blanc sites are located in the southern part of the region in order to capture strong varietal intensity and high natural acidity. The Semillon is more broadly sourced from the south and centre of the region to include the full spectrum of Semillon’s varietal characteristics. It is important to indulge Semillon with soils of high natural moisture retention to ensure ripeness. The majority of fruit providing the backbone of the wine comes from the Isca and Forest Grove Vineyards.
Each vineyard that contributes to the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is vinified separately. One third of the every batch is barrel fermented in a combination of new and older oak, with the balance tank fermented. Barrel ferment temperature is controlled at several degrees higher that the tank components and the lees are stirred regularly in both tank and barrels for 2 months prior to blending, fining and filtration. Bottling occurs in June of the vintage year, in time for a spring release.
Time: 2 months; Type: French; % oaked: 15; % new oak: None;
Delicate straw with a green hue, clear and bright. Fragrant nectarine and pear are supported by baked apple, lemon curd and a savoury yet subtle biscuit character from fermentation and lees stirring. A creamy texture with flavours of grapefruit has a crisp, clean finish and a lemon/lime acidity cutting it through. Russian oak in the Semillon ferment adds a delicate vanilla spice. Medium bodied and nicely weighted in the mouth, the palate is round and textural, Semillon filling out the mid palate with Sauvignon Blanc providing aromatics.
Particularly complements goat's cheese, pistachios, rocket salad and barbecued prawns but the quintessential pairing is freshly caught and pan fried King George Whiting.
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Awards and Reviews
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 92 Points
Six Nations Wine Challenge 2019