The Grace Farm style of sauvignon blanc semillon (SBS) favours complexity over simplicity by integrating the freshness of stainless steel tank fermentation with the flavour, structure and texture provided by 10% barrel fermentation in new French oak. The style offers the possibility of enjoying the fresh fruit character of each variety when young, and showcases the strength of each in the blend, but it also allows the wine to age beautifully and develop texture as it ages.
The 2016 Season
Hot, dry weather in late January was a gift following a 70mm down pour that fell mid-way through the month. The white grapes were beginning to soften as the rain came down and threatened to split the delicate skins. After the sky cleared it was over to monitoring the vineyard for signs of mildew and bunch rot. Fortunately the grape skins withstood the moisture and dried out with no signs of disease. As warm weather returned vineyard conditions improved and the sugars and pH levels started to rise. Picking started in mid-February with the semillon first and the sauvignon blanc three days later. Both varieties arrived at the winery in pristine condition and were ready to be transformed into wine.
The 2016 SBS is a blend of 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon. The semillon was crushed and immediately pressed. 400 litres of turbid semillon juice was taken directly from the press before clarification for wild yeast barrel fermentation in two new French oak barriques. The remaining semillon juice was clarified by flotation at 14 degrees Celsius and inoculated with Laffort X5 yeast.
The sauvignon blanc was picked in the early morning on February 18 and was crushed and immediately pressed. 400 litres of turbid sauvignon blanc juice was taken directly from the press before clarification for wild yeast barrel fermentation in two new French oak barriques. The remaining juice was also clarified using flotation to increase the amount of solids in the juice to be fermented. It was stirred daily for four days before wild yeast fermentation began. A week later it was inoculated with Laffort X5 yeast.
Cool ferment temperatures were maintained in both the barriques and tank to keep varietal aromatics at their optimum. After six weeks of barrel fermentation all the wine was blended in a single tank. Gentle processing meant that no fining was required.
Alc. 12.8%, pH 3.29, TA 6.3g/l, RS: 2.5g/l
What makes the Grace Farm vineyards so special?
We're situated in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of the Margaret River wine region, in the lee of the Leeuwin Ridge in Wilyabrup. The maritime influence provides cooling breezes which ameliorate the effects of summer heat and produce elegant flavour profiles in the wines. The vineyards are characterised by the distinctive forest grove soils which are typically of low to medium fertility. Sauvignon blanc and semillon vines are spur pruned on a single cordon wire with a vertically trained canopy and are managed with biological inputs such as compost, fish emulsion and kelp.