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Downes Family Sauvignon Blanc 2020


88 points Wine Advocate

90 Pts John Platter

Technical Notes

The grapes are chilled to 37 degrees F. The bunches are sorted on a conveyor, destemmed and crushed. All transfers of grape must and juice in these early stages are attained using gravity. Selected parcels of the grapes undergo a period of skin contact, at 46 degrees F to impart favorable skin flavors. After a gentle pressing, the juice left to settle for a period of 72 hours at 35 degrees F. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks continues at 54 degrees F, until the wine is dry. The 6% Sauvignon Blanc is fermented on natural yeasts and matured for 3 months in 100% new French oak and bâtonnage (lees stirring) practiced fortnightly. The SB 316 & 317 clones are originally sourced from Bordeaux in France. All these clones are able to handle barrel fermentation or maturation in barrel. They lend themselves to more classic complex wines with great length. The goal is to create depth and mid-palate texture, as well as length.

The finished assemblage:

# 18 SB 11: 25%
# 18 SB 316: 34%
# 18 SB 317: 36%
# Wooded: 6%


The focus of this wine is based on a vineyard component arising from low yielding Table Mountain Sandstone soils. Using neutral yeasts, Shannon Sauvignon Blanc expresses very distinctive and concentrated primary fruit aromas of asparagus, citrus, and some capsicum in a minerally and flinty style. The clay/shale soils however, provide the Sauvignon Blanc with flavors on the riper side of the fruit spectrum and with more structure for a broader palate. The blending in of naturally fermented Sauvignon Blanc, matured on the lees, provides a fuller mouth feel and adds to the complexity of the wine. This wine was vinified in a style that enhances
the aging potential of Sauvignon Blanc.