Thanks to its textural interest and savoury/smoky complexity, I've developed something of a soft spot for wooded sauvignon blanc. When (or if) Australia's infatuation with fresh and fruity Kiwi savvy passes, I'm hoping to see a greater number of our producers follow this rather more sophisticated approach to the style.
For a sauvignon blanc which spent around 6 months in oak the 2010 Mitchell Harris is surprisingly fresh, fruity and primary; blowing off cleanly endowed scents of limes, kiwifruit, white flower and passionfruit with an oak influence that introduces smoothness and restraint more so than smoky or savoury complexity. The palate is neat, tidy and wonderfully formed, with an ably constrained fruit core that builds with flavour intensity towards the back palate alongside a charmed greeting of dry, smoky wood that wasn't so evident on the nose. There's hints of gooseberries, minerals, creamy feel and flavour; and the whole package is beautifully wrapped up by a mouthfilling, limey acidity levelled out by a persisting brininess.
ü+ A very classy sauvignon blanc which echoes clever production with every sip. Full marks to Mitchell Harris for being a small winery willing to champion the fumé style over the more 'standard' model, and of course, full marks for executing it to great effect. Drink 2011-2014.