Thursday, April 14, 2011


- Margaret River, WA
- $17-$24
- Screwcap (Stelvin-Lux)
- 13.0%alc

Whether the Margaret River is capable of first rate semillon or sauvignon blanc you can decide (I think so, Leeuwin Estate's Art Series Sauvignon Blanc and Vasse Felix Semillon being key examples), but there's no denying the region's suitability to blends of the two, particularly when a lick of barrel induced complexity comes into the picture.

Fraser Gallop's 2010 SSB shows a keenly balanced arrangement of fruit and winemaking on the nose, by shooting up a direct, piercing fragrance of smoky green peas, capsicum and guava underlined by a clean hint of lemon butter. The aroma really permeates, in a fashion that gives a polite nod to its maker. Palate wise, it's quite long, clean and fractionally round through the middle section, but it comes together tidily on the finish, as its creamy oak/texture driven flavours of lemon and green pea are drawn into line by a fast movement of slick acids, which push the wine along a multitude of chiselled lanes, before finally leaving the mouth with a regrouping of its initial green characters and faint, lingering smoky vanilla oak.

ü For its price, Fraser Gallop's 2010 SSB appears cleverly constructed, with regional elements of semillon and sauvignon blanc, plus barrel ferment notes all raising their heads at one point or another, without anyone trying to steal the show. Good drinking. Drink to 2013.
90 points

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