Given the dominance of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in Australia, it’s a brave producer who attempts something truly different. With this label, Mitchell Harris offers a true alternative to the floridly aromatic Kiwi style. Winemaking includes wild yeasts and oak maturation. The end result is a restrained, elegant Sauvignon Blanc.
The aroma shows hints of varietal character in the form of light gooseberry and nettle. The dominant aroma is a sort of slatey understatement, like a blanket of minerality under which fruit is bound. Mostly, though, it’s notable for how quiet it is, preferring to slowly release aromas than throw them in your face. Like a slow strip tease.
And as one might imagine of a stripper, there’s luridness too, with Sauvignon Blanc’s neon-and-fake-tan flavours very much present. Yet even in the mouth, it’s a slow burn of a wine, very fresh, but more sea spray than fruit juice; the varietal’s hallmark acid kicks in from mid-palate onwards. Despite the understated flavour profile, there’s actually significant intensity, and this wine shows greater persistence than one ordinarily might expect.
Sauvignon Blanc for grown ups.