Wednesday, January 27, 2010


- Orange, NSW
- $22
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

It might sound unlikely to your average punter who drinks from the Adelaide Hills or Marlborough, but Orange has stepped forward as a very promising sauvignon blanc district. Names like Philip Shaw, Printhie and Cumulus' Climbing label are leading the way with their more shapely, refined varietal expressions.

Climbing's 2009 opens to smooth scents of creamed gooseberries, lychee, lime and gentle passionfruit, which although lacking a bit of varietal punch and intensity, it shows carefully judged style. Decidedly eloquent for the variety, its somewhat juicy palate presents pristine, clear varietal fruit underscored by mineral tones and a delightful savoury aspect possibly imparted by a touch of barrel fermentation. It's beautifully refined, restrained and ably textured for the variety, with a refreshing finish nicely drawn out by persisting notes of lime juice/passionfruit and limey acids.

ü+ Climbing's 2009 totally works in more of an 'adult' sauvignon blanc sort of way. Chalk up another one for Orange. Drink to 2011.
91 points


  1. Where can I buy it from, dude? I'm after a very un-kiwi-style sauvignon blanc - the closest i could find was a Sancerre which was delicious but i'd prefer to buy Aussie...

  2. Thanks DM! That's a very noble statement true to my beliefs!

    I've done a little research for you and have discovered you can buy Cumulus wines from a place called Bar HumBug on Little Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD.

    I'd definitely recommend to drink this wine a little warmer than your 'typical Kiwi savvy'. I found it's texture moved away a bit from what was slightly 'juicy' when cold towards more of an oily texture.

    Still, if it's an un-kiwi-style Aussie sav blanc you're after you can't go far wrong with De Bortoli's Sauvignon - it should be a lot easier to locate in Melbourne than Adelaide DM!

    Chris P

  3. Thanks Chris - Bah HumBug is rather a favourite haunt of mine but we usually stick to Shaw and Smith, due to the tastes of my drinking companions. I will make a point of trying this one there! And yes, De Bortoli = great. I really prefer a nice flinty, minerally sauvignon blanc.

    In the same vein, if you are ever in Gippsland, try Drummonds. He actually grows the grapes for Bass Philip's pinot noirs and he makes a mean sauvignon blanc as well.

    My other current fave is Port Phillip Estate sauvignon blanc - it's much more French style than kiwi.

  4. Thanks for the tips DM!

    If only the rest of Australia's taste in savvy was as savvy as yours!

    I love the sound of Drummonds, Phillip Jones doesn't just source his fruit from anyone! Is it biodynamic too? But you could be right, my best chance of locating some might be a trip to Gippsland :o/

    The Port Phillip pinots are really up my alley so I'll keep an eye out for the savvy too. I haven't seen it here yet, getting ahold of Aussie savvy outside of SA/WA can take some digging - it's amazing how parochial the Adelaide wine retail sector is sometimes...

    Chris P