The “retro-modern styles” of Terre à Terre – Andrew Caillard reviews latest Crayeres releases


Terre à Terre New Releases 2022

Xavier and Lucy Bizot’s Terre à Terre wines are based on the close-spaced Crayères Vineyard at Wrattonbully in South East South Australia. The terra rossa soils, limestone ridges and overall growing season are very similar to the conditions in Coonawarra, just 23 kilometres south. But the landscape is more undulating and the soils much older (35 million years vs 800,000 years). The low-input Terre à Terre vineyard was established in 2004 with a nod to organic principles. Viticultural work is mainly carried out by manual labour reflecting a long held view that mechanisation belongs to corporate winemaking.

Vigneron Xavier Bizot has brought a French background and sensibilities to his winemaking philosophy. His wines are starkly different to the mainstream but underpinned by sound technical principles. In many respects he has returned to traditional maturation techniques employed by winemakers during a golden period of winemaking between the 1870s and early 1900s. Vinification in oak vessels and extended oak maturation are a key feature of these appealing retro-modern styles.

2020 Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Wrattonbully South Australia

Pale colour. Attractive lifted verbena, lemon curd, tonic water aromas. Well concentrated lemon pastille, grapefruit, tonic water flavours, fine loose knit slinky textures and fresh integrated acidity. Finishes chalky and long with plentiful fruit sweet notes. Fermented and aged in Demi-muid (600L) oak. A highly individual style showing excellent fruit complexity, richness and drive. Drink now – 2026 13.5% alc 94 points

2019 Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, Wrattonbully South Australia

Medium crimson. Fresh cassis, pure blackberry, brambly aromas with roasted chestnut, vanilla notes. Elemental and vigorous with plentiful blackcurrant, blackberry fruits, fine brambly/cedary textures, attractive mid-palate richness and underlying savoury oak. Finishes grainy firm with persistent fruits. A juicy and richly flavoured wine. Should develop very well. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon 48% Shiraz 2% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2023 – 2030 14.5% alc 94 points

2019 Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Cabernet Franc Shiraz, Wrattonbully South Australia

Medium crimson. Very attractive red plum, raspberry, chinotto, roasted walnut aromas. Inky wine with plentiful red plum, raspberry, mulberry, cola flavours, fine loose knit grainy tannins and integrated roasted walnut notes. Finishes firm and minerally. 68% Cabernet Franc 32% Shiraz. Ready to drink. Drink now – 2028. 14.0% alc 93 points

2018 Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Wrattonbully South Australia

Medium deep crimson. Intense blackcurrant, blackberry, roasted chestnut, shellac aromas with tobacco leaf notes. Well balanced wine with fresh pure blackberry fruits, fine chocolaty / graphite textures, superb inky density and well-integrated roasted chestnut, vanilla oak notes, Finishes claret firm with lovely fruit complexity and tannin plume. A very classical and genuine ‘reserve’ style with 18 months oak maturation and 18 months bottle age before release. Drink now -2032 14.5% alc 96 points

Andrew Caillard, The Vintage Journal, March 2022

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