Sigurd Chenin Blanc 2019
Clare Valley, South Australia
Dan Graham's wines are named after his Norwegian great-grandfather, who shared a similarly mischievous outlook on life. Sigurd Wines was born in 2012 with just two tonnes of Grenache from Blewitt Springs, which he fermented on a friend’s veranda. Dan's new adventure followed a career that has taken him to Central Otago, Alentejo, Bordeaux, Hermitage, Barolo and all around New South Wales and Barossa. He is now sourcing excellent fruit from Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley for a range of pure delicious wines. As Dan has said himself, “when all is said and done, I just make wines that I want to drink”. We certainly love to drink them, and believe you will too.
Chenin Blanc in in the New World is spectacularly associated with South Africa, but Australia is carving out a growing reputation of its own. Dan's Chenin is from a northern Clare Valley vineyard around Stanley Flat, a cool-climate site with average vine age around 57-years-old. Red loam over deep clay and a creek running through the centre of the block. Two-thirds of the hand-picked grapes were de-stemmed and pressed to puncheons, the other third fermented on skins for eight days. The juice was transferred to old 500-litre French oak puncheons and three, second-use Russian oak puncheons. Left to ferment naturally in barrel to dryness for about seven months, racked once and a small amount of sulphur added before bottling.
It's a stunner. A little waxy with aromas of fresh honeycomb, toffee and bruised apples. Slippery and glossy palate framed by perky acidity. Soft tannins and flavours of kumquat and sherbet. A cool look at Chenin, there should be more like it.