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2016 Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Cracka Value Rating
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Cracka Review

If there’s one thing the Margaret River does well apart from offering world quality surf breaks, it’s this refreshing white blend that’s the vinous equivalent of being dumped by a killer wave of flavour. It’s become a signature due to both Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc being the perfect foil for each other in terms of what they bring to the blend. Prepare for a tsunami of flavour showing gooseberries, nettles and other herbaceous notes. Amazing tropicality here with a citrus core and zippy acid finish that makes it a good match for any fish fresh from the surf.

Winemaker's Notes

The temperate maritime region that is Margaret River stretches 100km north to south. Subtle climatic changes and soil diversity along this substantial stretch of coastal land allows for an extensive array of varietal expression in both Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. It is the region’s climatic ability to fully ripen Semillon that sets this wine apart. From this treasure trove of choice Margaret River’s signature blend has evolved.

Vineyard(s): Several vineyard sites are included in the making of this blended wine. All the Sauvignon Blanc sites are located in the southern part of the region in order to capture strong varietal intensity and high natural acidity. The Semillon is more broadly sourced from the south and centre of the region to include the full spectrum of Semillon’s varietal characteristics. It is important to indulge Semillon with soils of high natural moisture retention to ensure ripeness. The majority of fruit providing the backbone of the wine comes from our Isca and Forest Grove Vineyards.

2016 Vintage: As with every vintage some challenges arise from Mother Nature and in 2016 it was rainfall early in the season that challenged our viticulturists and winemakers. With love and diligent care, our team walked the vineyards every two days and dropped any affected fruit on the ground, to ensure only the highest quality fruit was harvested. As the weather brightened we started picking early February and our white varieties are looking exciting, with all of the varietal characteristics & style we expect from our Southern vineyards.

Winemaking: Each vineyard that contributed to the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc was vinified separately. One third of every batch was barrel fermented in a combination of new and older oak, with the balance tank fermented. Barrel ferment temperature was controlled at several degrees higher than the tank components and the lees were stirred regularly in both tank and barrels for two months prior to blending, fining and filtration.

Appearance: Delicate straw with a green hue, clear and bright.

Aroma: The bouquet is opulent and intense driven by the Semillon, which cropped lower this year. Fresh, fruit forward character bursting with crushed citrus and nectarine, this is supported by musk and nutty aromatics with a savoury yet subtle biscuit character from fermentation and lees stirring.

Palate: The intensity of flavour and fruit ripeness of the Semillon finishes with lemon and lime blossom and a preserved lemon tang. Medium bodied and nicely weighted in the mouth, the palate is mouth filling and textural, the mid palate has the flesh and generosity of Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc providing aromatics.

Food Ideas: The quintessential pairing of freshly caught and pan fried King George Whiting with Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is perfect as always!

Drink: The wine will continue to grow in complexity for five or more years from vintage.

Blend: 63% Semillon & 37% Sauvignon Blanc.

Alc/vol: 13.0%

expert reviews about

2016 Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2016 Vintage) says
Bright straw-green; has the Stella Bella stamp all over it; notwithstanding that Semillon is the dominant partner, the exotic tropical fruits of Sauvignon Blanc do most of the talking, with passionfruit, custard, apple and gooseberry joined by lemony acidity on the finish. Will be around for a few years yet.
Drink by 2022
92
Gary Walsh (2016 Vintage) says
Lime and snow pea, with a little lift from tropical Sauvignon fruit. It’s juicy, but firm too, with good shape and a clean citrus cut, some softness and savoury flavour, then flinty and well packed and bursting with sweet lime on a pretty long finish. Excellent.
2016 - 2019+
91
Huon Hooke (2016 Vintage) says
Sandalwood-like aromas, with grassy nuances, the palate fruity and broad, full and rounded, with a subtle suggestion of the barrel, adding volume and richness to the palate. The aftertaste has a gentle phenolic grip, in balance, and dry follow-through. Very good depth and intensity.
2016 - 2021
90
Wine Companion (2015 Vintage) says
The grass, green pea and lemon signature of Margaret River semillon comes through on the bouquet, but is blown away by the seductive array of tropical fruits on the palate, with gooseberry, guava and creamy notes (is there a touch of barrel ferment?).
Drink by 2018
95
Gary Walsh (2015 Vintage) says
I like it when the Semillon leads in these blends. This is beautifully put together. It has quince, lime and tomato bush flavours, along with a little vanilla and nectarine. Acidity and texture is flinty, but softened by the creaminess and softness of a little barrel work. Finish is good. Nicely done.
2016 - 2019+
92
The Wine Front (2012 Vintage) says
Always a reliable performer. Matchsticks, grass, cream, lime and pineapple. It has a bit of succulence, along with funky smoky flavours, a gentle gloss and some tangy cut pineapple to close. Good example of the style
Gary Walsh
91
James Halliday (2011 Vintage) says
In typical Stella Bella fashion, has more complexity and weight than many of its peers, the somewhat riper fruit allowing it to present characters such as custard apple and stone fruits as well as the more frequently encountered citrus and gooseberry; all this comes about thanks to slightly riper fruit, but without the loss of cleansing acidity on the finish.
To 2015
Australian Wine Companion 2013
92
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
To 2013
Australian Wine Companion 2013
94
Nick Stock (2008 Vintage) says
One of Margaret River's most hip brands and a handy take on the SSB theme, this is a grass and herb wine with compact shape and gently savoury appeal. Finishes dry and crisp on a bright acid crunch. Drink now.
The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2010 2009
89
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
A rich wine, the sauvignon blanc speaking louder than the semillon, even though it is the junior partner; an assemblage of tropical fruits drive the palate; best served fully chilled
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
91
Ray Jordan (2008 Vintage) says
Typically pure and pristine blend displaying a beautifully fresh aroma of tropical fruits and very subtle herbaceousness. There's some tart citrus and gooseberry freshness in there as well, completing an excellent wine. Drink now.
Ray Jordan's 2009 WA Wine Guide 2009
91
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
A complex bouquet and palate, suggesting barrel ferment components which, however, don't impinge on the line and flow of the fruit through to the finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
94
Nick Stock (2007 Vintage) says
Attractive and savoury with regional grassy lemon-scented semillon leading the charge, gravelly green and grey aromas too. The palate is super smooth and balanced - terrific blending - passionfruit emerges here, bright from top to toe.
Good Australian Wine Guide 2009 2008
90
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
Classic, elegant and restrained, with perfect balance and structure to the mix of herbs, grass and small green fruits.
Australian Wine Companion 2008 2007
95
James Halliday (2005 Vintage) says
Spotlessly clean; aromatic herb, grass, spice and gooseberry fruit runs through a lively, crisp and clean palate; vibrant finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2007 2006
95
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
Bright, brisk, fresh stony/minerally aromas; long, lively palate and finish; fresh and dry; great seafood style.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
94
James Halliday (2002 Vintage) says
Light straw-green; a crisp and lively minerally bouquet leads into a wine with complex structure and mouthfeel, filling all the corners with an appealing blend of flavours.
Australian Wine Companion 2004 2003
92

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