Shaw + Smith, Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
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Established in 1989 by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith's aim is to make contemporary, high quality wines that stand among the best of their type in Australia. The wines are made exclusively from fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's coolest and most exciting regions. Shaw + Smith specialise in grape varieties suited to cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and also make outstanding wines from Shiraz and Pinot Noir.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were sourced from the Shaw + Smith estate vineyards at Balhannah and Lenswood. The 35-hectare Balhannah vineyard sits at 340 – 380 metres above sea level and has free draining soils of sandy loam over red clay with underlying quartzite, shale and ironstone pebbles. The Lenswood vineyard covers an area of 20 hectares and is at an altitude of 455 to 500 metres above sea level. Soils here are brown loam over clay and broken shale. The vineyards are farmed sustainably to promote the best possible soil and vine health and the grapes are harvested by hand.
2020 was a very challenging vintage in the Adelaide Hills. Frosts in September and October and cool, windy weather during flowering caused a significant reduction in yields. Parts of the region were affected by the bushfire crisis in December and January and significant amounts of fruit had to be rejected due to smoke taint. After the heat of December and January, some much-needed rain fell in early February and cooler temperatures until the harvest provided ideal conditions for a slowly paced ripening for the grapes and those which were harvested were of excellent quality – small berries packed with flavour and balanced by a vibrant acidity.
Upon arrival at the winery, the hand-picked whole bunches were destemmed and gently pressed. The must was left to settle before being transferred to temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats for a cool fermentation to retain the varietal purity and bright fruit aromas of the Sauvignon Blanc. Following fermentation, the wine was matured on its lees for a short period and was bottled early under screwcap to retain its vibrancy.
Pale lemon in colour. On the nose, this wine showcases a vibrant pink grapefruit character along with green apple and floral nuances. It has nice mid-palate weight and texture and a fine acidity. Bright and aromatic, it has become known as a benchmark for Adelaide Hills and Australian Sauvignon Blanc.