2014 Cullen "Ephraim Clarke" Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River Western Australia (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $35+)

SKU #1251315 92 points Vinous

 Light, hazy yellow. Smoky, assertively perfumed aromas of poached pear, melon and lemon curd are complemented by suggestions of fennel, jasmine and vanilla. Supple and broad on entry, then more taut in the middle, offering juicy orchard fruit and orange zest flavors and a hint of toasty lees. Shows a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes sappy, smoky and very long, with a sexy floral quality. This complex wine reminded me a lot of a top-notch white Bordeaux. (JR)  (3/2016)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Youthfully mute with a subtle lemon curd and apple-laced nose, plus nuances of ginger and yeast, the 2014 Ephraim Clarke Sauvignon Blanc Semillon has a light to medium-body and tons of vivacity. Tightly wound citrus and savory flavors coat the palate, finishing with mineral suggestions. (LPB)  (3/2016)

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Price: $24.99

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Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River