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International Trophy Sauvignon Blanc over £15 – Bay of Fires, Sauvignon Blanc, Tasmania, Australia 2014

A truly classic nose of grass, gooseberry and minerals, showing wonderful aromatic intensity. The wine is impeccably balanced with a long aftertaste and, despite the power of its components, every element displays restrained elegance and harmony. Beautiful! (12.5%)
£20 Matthew Clark

The judges loved the ‘new-wave’ style of this wine, which combines richness and complexity with elegance, salinity and minerality. It was enough for Bay of Fire’s wine to see off strong challenges from Sauvignon Blanc’s heartland regions of Sancerre and Marlborough, plus an excellent example from Canada’s Niagara Peninsula.

One of the keys to its success is the mix of Old and New World techniques, with the fruit picked at optimal ripeness to impart the signature Tasmanian Sauvignon Blanc style of exotic guava, passion fruit and gooseberry.

The blend combines parcels of fruit that are cool-fermented in stainless steel using a mixture of yeasts to lock in freshness and aromatics. A small proportion of wine is fermented with wild yeasts in new French oak, giving richness, texture and a hint of sweetness from the oak. This Trophy winner is crafted by Bay of Fires’ winemaker/ manager, Tasmanian-born Penny Jones.

Grapes are sourced from two sites in the south of the island – the Coal River Valley and the Derwent River Valley. These are situated 60km apart and are subject to different weather patterns, soil types and diurnal temperature variations. Both have two different Sauvignon Blanc clones, giving a variety of flavours and complexity in the finished wine.

The 2014 vintage was not an easy one, with wild and windy weather conditions during flowering affecting fruit set and reducing yields by 30% on average. But the grapes that were harvested were top-quality, meaning that Tasmania’s aromatic wines in 2014 will be up there with the island’s best-ever vintages.


Bay of Fires winemaker

Tasted against

Domaine Jean-Paul Balland, Sancerre, Loire, France 2014 • Ravine, Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada 2013 • Saint Clair, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand 2014.

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