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What our expert thought of Deep Woods, Ivory, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc




the tasting

The Tasting


In the glass this is a pale lemon colour, with hints of green.  It looks younger than its three and a half years.
 
It smells green too: grassy, nettly and very fresh.  There’s green gooseberry fruit here as well.  So far, so Sauvignon Blanc.  But the gooseberry is more subtle than in, say, a New Zealand Sauvignon, and it plays second fiddle to ripe citrus scents of lemon zest and mandarin orange, especially as the wine warms.
 
A note of beeswax adds complexity, hinting that this might not be as young as it looks.  There’s also a faint suggestion of lightly-done toast, though the wine is clearly unoaked.
 
The fresh palate makes good on the promise of the nose, with zingy acidity and crunchy green fruit – granny smith apple and gooseberry – backed up by lemon and grapefruit citrus.  Initially light-bodied, it fills out in the mouth and develops some minerally texture.
 
Mouthwatering acidity and powerful limey, grapefruity citrus dominate the finish, which has a little saline hint right at the end.


Assessment


This is a wine that has more than meets the eye… or the nose… or the tongue!  At each stage it starts out obvious, then reveals hidden depths.
 
The first sniff says it’s just another young Sauvignon Blanc, but then you notice the contribution made by Sémillon and bottle age: the riper citrus behind all that greenery, and those intriguing notes of toast and beeswax.  It’s a satisfyingly complex nose with both freshness and depth.
 
At first sip it again seems like a light-bodied Sauvignon but then shifts a gear and rounds out nicely in the mouth, driven by those intense green apple and grapefruit flavours.  The finish changes the apples to limes before throwing in one final surprise: a liplicking saltiness that remains after the other flavours fade.
 
This wine was partly lees-aged, which is probably responsible for both the saline finish and the textured weight of the after-palate.  But Sémillon is the real hero here, allowing the wine to age gracefully into waxy, toasty complexity and providing the rounded citrus flavours to complement Sauvignon’s pungency.



Tasting notes

Appearance
pale lemon with green hints
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas herbaceous (grass, nettles), citrus (lemon zest, mandarin), green fruit (gooseberry), maturity (beeswax, toast)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness dry

Acidity high(-)

Body medium(-, just), starts light but builds

Intensity medium++, back-loaded

Flavours green fruit (granny smith apple inc. peel, gooseberry), citrus (lemon, grapefruit), mineral (textured mouthfeel)
Finish

Length medium

Flavours lime, grapefruit, mouthwatering acidity, ends slightly saline
Other notes
Unoaked. Some initial reduction - needs decanting. Nose, palate & finish more complex than they seem at first. Ready now.


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