Saturday, September 19, 2009


 - Adelaide Hills, SA
 - $20-$31
 - Screwcap
 - 13.0%alc

Shaw and Smith is one of the names responsible for the astronomical popularity of sauvignon blanc in Australia. 2009 marks the 20th vintage for this wine, which has practically reached icon status amongst Australia's white wine drinkers.

The 2009 Shaw and Smith opens to a pungent, grassy fragrance with mineral overtones laced throughout tinned pineapple and lemon zest aromas. Smooth and viscous with an oily undercarriage, its somewhat dirty, tropical fruit, lime and melon flavours show suggestions of juicy, mineral and savoury complexities, followed by lasting notes of kiwi fruit and herb. It's rather round and generous, finishing with good persistence of flavour, bitter tones and soft, almost creamy acids, but it lacks the regal balance for a higher score.

O This is a softer rendition of Shaw and Smith's style, with its restrained varietal fruit giving way to more savoury, textural, herbal complexity, but it hasn't quite won the match. Drink to 2010.
89 points


  1. Aw its such a shame it didn't win the match ;) I do luv that wine, its great with the fish and chips at Hyde Park Tavern. Yum!

  2. I haven't tasted the 2009 yet, but the 2008 didn't pull off the soft mid palate trick as well as some other Australian Sauvignon Blancs.

    I'm beginning to think Shaw + Smith will be remembered in time more for their Shiraz and Chardonnay than the Savy that got the ball rolling. Which isn't in itself a bad thing at all I reckon.


  3. I agree the 2008 wasn't quite on the ball either JP, but unfortunately I think the 2009 is a slight step backwards from that even. The 2007 was more to my liking, it was tighter, more refined and even had very tidy acidity. I wonder what it would taste like now, or next year even...
    But Shaw + Smith's 2005 was probably the finest unoaked Adelaide Hills savvy I've ever had. I do hope they can pull another one of those out the bag soon.

    Totally agree about the chardonnay and shiraz too. Both wines are probably the best of their respective varieties in the Hills, the Shiraz by some distance in my opinion. Both greatly undervalued at less than $40 each too...

    They also make some very impressive riesling and a cellar door only (at this stage) pinot noir. Shaw + Smith take the smart step of trialling new wines through cellar door for a couple of years first, to get the public's reaction before taking the big step into the 'real' world. By my reckoning their very admirable pinot has been floating around at cellar door for at least 3 years now, and will hopefully get released onto the unsuspecting public soon!

    Cheers again JP,
    Chris P

  4. And to anonymous; Hyde Park Tavern! A local!

    Isn't that pub owned by Matthew Primus, Warren Tredrea and another Power player or so?

    At least the boys know their basic food/wine matches :)