Terre à Terre is proud to present its fifth release of Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc from its close-spaced Crayères vineyard in Wrattonbully, South Australia.
Terre à Terre, a French expression meaning Down to Earth, is a small family business run by husband and wife team Xavier Bizot and Lucy Croser. Their vineyard is located next to Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard, at the top of a north-south limestone ridge in Wrattonbully, one of Australia’s most exciting regions. The Terra Rossa top soil, which is characteristic of the area, is covered in the this part of the vineyard by a shallow layer of eolian sands, making it highly suited for Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard was planted in 2004 on rootstocks at a relatively high density for the area (4,444 vines per hectare), making it one of the closest spaced Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in mainland Australia. The fruiting wire is only 50cm above ground, which is why the local vignerons call the vines the “low vines”. The vineyard is cane pruned (guyot double) by hand and the fruit is hand-harvested. One more hectare of Sauvignon Blanc was planted on the same spacing in 2013, using a new clone from the Cher region in France.
The 2016 vintage was an extraordinarily warm vintage but without any heatwaves. Like 2015, it was also an early vintage, budburst finished late in September 2015, and flowering was in full bloom by mid November 2015. The fruit was hand harvested one week later than 2015, on the 25th, 26th and 27th of February 2016, we wanted to wait until we got full expression of the fruit, with no green flavours.
– The fruit harvested on the 25th of February from the western part of the vineyard was whole bunch pressed and fermented in a 3,000L oak foudre a 2,000L oak foudre and eight 600L demi-muids where it was fermented at low temperatures. We used all of the wines made in foudres and half of the wines made in demi-muids as a blending component of the Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2016, which represents in total 38% of the final blend.
– The fruit harvested on the 26th and 27th of February 2016 was crushed and destemmed and fermented in tank at low temperatures. The fermentation was very slow and the wine was kept off lees in tank for eight months before being blended with the oak component for bottling.
The Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc has not been through malolactic fermentation and the different components were blended in November 2016, before being bottled on the 3rd of December 2016.
The result is a very seductive and ripe white wine with alcohol of 13.5%v/v, residual sugar of 1.7g/L, pH of 3.17 and TA of 6.7g/L. Layered and intense flavours of lime, spice and stone fruit lead to very textured mouthfeel and very long and balanced finish. The wine does not show any of the herbaceous characters of the variety, which was our goal. This is our best Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc yet and the one that will age the best, it demonstrates the exceptional quality of the terroir in our Crayères vineyard site, a First Vignes wine.
In bottle analysis (AWRI): Alcohol = 13.7%v/v, pH = 3.17, TA = 6.7 g/L, VA = 0.31 g/
Tasting Note: PDF