98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2019 blend is comprised of 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache. The bouquet is a colossal, brooding skyscraper which needs coaxing with aeration (I suggest decanting for 6-8 hours). Sweet spices, blue and blackberry liqueur, asphalt, baked earth, bitter chocolate, liquorice, lavender and a heavenly twists of blood orange on the finish. The palate could not be any different; lithe, agile, elegant and full of freshness – the spine of acidity is a masterstroke and keeps the palate salivating. The fruit is juicy and the flavours open up like a peacock’s tail. Mineral-laced blueberry compote, floral pastille, lavender, some warmth and depth from black liquorice. Perhaps some sweet cherry on the finish too – white pepper after minutes. The tannins are supple and add the faintest of grip. This is such a fascinating wine, one which plays a hedonistic bouquet off against a palate which is in the hands of an angel. Drinking now (decant for 6+ hours) and will age gracefully over the coming ten or more years. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 26.02.21.
93+ - 94 Points - Stuart McCloskey “At this youthful stage, more Sauvignon on the nose than Sémillon. Intensely aromatic with stone fruits, grapefruit and blackcurrant leaf. Herbal, floral and ripe… There’s a synergy between the bouquet and the palate which is equally vibrant and ‘alive’ – some gooseberry and elderflower. Lovely weight (which is often lacking at this level) and the soft textural feel will appeal to many. I love the fresh minty finish, I detect Florence fennel too (eaten raw – you’ll see what I am referring too). Appetising and delicious now, not really a wine to put in the cellar, but a few years will do it no harm.”
Stuart McCloskey “By far one of my favourite annual releases, as I am fascinated by the wacky blend (Old Vine Chenin Blanc and Crouchen, Angaston; Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills; Chardonnay, Krondorf; Pinot Gris, Adelaide Hills) and the textural feel too, the wine provides glass after glass of uncompromised satisfaction. The grapes are lovingly hand harvested, foot treaded and left on stalks and skins for 24 hours. JC ages the wine on the lees for 11 months and bottles unfined and unfiltered, hence a little cloudiness. Bring everything together and you are presented with a textural beauty which will gain complexity over the coming 3-5 years, but there is no harm in drinking this wine now as it’s so irresistible. I adore texture and I love wines that do not conform – The caveat being that I am not a fan of daft / wacky wines which are created to disrupt. More often than not, they are produced for social media and rarely succeed. For me, JC is a brilliant winemaker with his natural skill for white wines being his ultimate gift. This man can produce bloody amazing wines which are thrilling, sensuous and just outright delicious. The nose is a riot – I actually find myself unable to put the glass down. There’s a touch of oxidation (perfectly acceptable) along with a savoury mélange of hay, wild grass, a milky chalkiness, perhaps a little bruised apple and sweet spice. The palate feel gets my juices flowing – waxy and grippy - my cheeks puckering a little. Savoury, with that fresh grassy character. This is stunningly explosive on the palate. A riot of… Actually, I am struggling to be succinct as there is so much going on. In short, and following a very long tasting note, this is simply a must have. It’s a joy and will be the only wine to serve in the garden this year. Drink now to 2025. Served using Zalto Universal glassware.”
Winemakers Note: I grew up across the road from a famous old school winemaker who was known to be one of the best blenders of his generation. So, for years I followed this ideal in the wines I was making. For a hands-off winemaker, you actually feel like you are doing something!
One day pondering life, the universe and everything I thought about why I hadn’t challenged this notion. Grenache and friends work well together - I’ll just pick them within a few days of each other, chuck it all in one fermenter and let the ferment rock it in its own way.
So, my theory is that the different varieties bring something complimentary, but they also bring something individual - so equal but opposite reactions in the ferment. I then remembered my high school physics and worked out it’s actually the same way a rocket works. Go figure.
James Suckling "A bright and flavorful white with sliced apple, pear and mango follow through to a full body, crisp acidity and lively finish. Lots of white peaches too."
92-94 Points - Neal Martin "The de Fieuzal Blanc has a lifted, perfumed bouquet with touches of dried orange peel and apricot blossom that are well defined and vigorous, perhaps leaning slightly to the New World (though there is nothing wrong with that.) The palate is well balanced with crisp green fruit, lemongrass and orange zest that builds to a vibrant, satisfying finish. This is a superb white from the estate."
Robert Parker "Possibly the greatest Fieuzal since the legendary 1985, the 2013 boasts a light straw color with a greenish hue as well as a stunning perfume of tangerine oil, orange marmalade, citrus and honeysuckle. Surprisingly full, rich, exuberant and borderline flamboyant, this is a stunning white Graves to consume over the next 20+ years."
94 Points - Neal Martin
You cannot escape just how lovely this bouquet is. Touches of white flowers, vanilla pod, custard creme, mango and a touch of lime. Wonderful definition. The palate is medium-bodied, fine tannins, real depth of flavour here with the oak interwoven into the plush, oaky texture (showing less of the petrol aromas it exhibited at birth.) It will need time for that oak to subsume itself entirely, but it is a really beautiful Blanc '07.
96 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of pineapple, peaches and apple pie with stone. Deep and intense, yet always subtle in the nose. Full-bodied, layered and very flavorful. However, it stays focused and precise in the mouth and at the finish. Serious length. Still needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2022.
94-96 Points - Neal Martin "The Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has a reserved, stony nose that you have to be patient with – give it a few minutes and there are some subtle undergrowth scents that begin to emerge, hints of orange blossom and dried apricot. The palate is well balanced with a delicate touch of spice on the entry. This is very focused with good weight and it displays wonderful tension on the finish that offers a Burgundy-like texture. Wonderful."