Most consumers don’t look to Australia for Sauvignon Blanc. There are some good examples coming out of the Margaret River region of Western Australia, although few actually make it into our market. But this producer, out of South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, make one of Australia’s finest versions. Adelaide Hills is one of that state’s most versatile wine growing areas. This higher elevation, cool climate growing area has proven that it can do many things well and in certain vintages it can take things up a notch to a higher level. The 2021 vintage is showing to be one of the finest in a number of years in Adelaide Hills, and this is an eye-catcher. It’s a slightly different take that what many are accustomed to, it shows none of greener herbal pungency that’s a calling card for most of the New World versions you will try. This shows none of that and is one of the most engaging versions we have tried in a number of years. It’s enthralling and a shear delight to drink showcasing beautiful fruit purity, balance and vibrancy. Once you try it it’s easy to see why and the critical claim shows that this has some serious pedigree.
96 pts James Halliday
Hand-picked fruit, cool fermentation in stainless steel, maturation on lees and early bottling. A model of consistency over 32 vintages, Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc continues to lead the way in 2021 with a combination of fruit intensity and a seeming lightness of being. It’s told in 2 parts; the 1st is exuberant tropicals, citrus and herbal interplay, but it quickly moves into a state of serious intensity, filigree acidity and mealy texture. That lasting impression saturates the tastebuds and stays with you.
94 pts James Suckling
A very strong vintage for this popular Adelaide Hills sauvignon, it sits in a deliciously ripe yet fresh zone and is bathed in peach, nectarine, green-mango and passion-fruit aromas and flavors. Delivered in straight-up, drinkable mode on release. Screw cap
93 pts Wine Enthusiast Editors’ Choice
This is a particularly delicious bottling from one of the Adelaide Hills region’s most well-known names. Bright peach and citrus fruit bounce from the glass, with more delicate floral notes just behind. There’s almost none of the green veg pungency found in many New World Sauvignons. The palate offers equally vibrant fruit flavors. It glides along a creamy texture, finishing long and refreshing.
91 pts Vinous
Pale silver-straw. Bright and sharply focused on the nose, displaying intense citrus zest, green apple and succulent herb qualities and a hint of green tea. Taut and sharply focused on the palate, offering lime pith, pear skin and fennel flavors and an exotic touch of lemongrass. Closes long and nervy, with repeating citrus fruit character and a touch of bitter quince.
90 pts Wine Spectator
Pear drop, peach and pineapple flavors are mouthwatering, intense and vividly in focus in this white, with lemongrass accents lining the finish.
Shaw + Smith own three vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, at Balhannah, Lenswood and Piccadilly Valley, totalling 60 hectares. Our aim is to grow the highest possible quality grapes from healthy vines grown in healthy soils.
The growing season for the 2021 vintage was terrific, a joy after the traumas of 2020. Soaking winter rains gave us plenty of moisture in the soil, and that flowed into healthy crops. The summer was mild, with slow ripening giving the grapes lots of flavour and intensity.
Typically it shows a pink grapefruit character, concentration and mid-palate texture, which reflect the carefully selected sites and hand
harvesting during the small window of perfect ripeness.
The 2021 has lemon, lime and pink grapefruit aromas and real persistence of flavour. Great balance with bright acidity.