HALLIDAY TOP 100: Top Whites under $30 - 2021
Grown at Westgate Vineyard, site of some of our best Shiraz grapes. We convinced the owner to pull out cabernet and plant 3 rows of Marsanne and one each of Roussanne and Viognier. Crazily, it is the only Marsanne and Roussanne in the region. 2018 is now the 9th vintage of this wine, and again all varieties were picked and pressed together, settled overnight and then racked to and allowed to ferment with wild yeasts in very old French puncheons and barriques. The wine was allowed to complete malolactic fermentation, which I think makes the wine more vinous, delicate and less fruity. Almost paradoxically the malo contributes to the transparency and unforced feel of the wine without sacrificing line. It is held on gross lees for a full 11 months, and is neither cold stabilised nor fined in any way, and in 2018 we decided to bottle it without any filtration whatsoever. Mid weight, with a gentle grip to close. Leaner but more intense than 2016, possibly closest to 2011 in style, but with more malo character.
"Grown on the Westgate Vineyard in the Grampians region. Indeed this vineyard is home to the only marsanne and roussanne in the region, or at least that was the case in 2016.
Excellent wine. Developed honeysuckle characters (and accompanying yellow hue) but with quartz and fresh stone fruit pulsing persuasively through. Cut, thrust and texture all in one. Indeed the texture here is more grip than anything, though the flavours sluice through regardless. Really good wine, this." - Campbell Mattinson, 93 points, The Wine Front
"Wild fermented in old oak with full mlf. What foresight winemaker Rory Lane has! In 2007 he persuaded the owners of Westgate Vineyard to plant these 3 Rhône white varieties, believed to be a first at the time in the region. This is a beauty. Pretty, aromatic marsanne leads the way (a nice change from viognier) and sets the tone of spring blossom, jasmine, white musk, peach and pear. The palate is concentrated and textural, yet dances in bright acidity. Sensitive winemaking on display right here." - Jeni Port, 95 points, Wine Companion.
"A single co-planted (2007) vineyard, the wine wild fermented in old oak and taken through 100% mlf, this reflected in its malty aromas. Despite the mlf, fruit and acidity dance around each other in an energetic display which carries through the finish and aftertaste." - James Halliday, 95 points, Halliday Top 100.
Vine age 11yrs
Total acidity 5.6g/l
230 dozen produced
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