Downes Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2014
This 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 with flavours on the riper side of the fruit spectrum and with more structure for a broader palate. The blending in of naturally fermented Semillon, 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.
91 pts James Suckling
This is rich and flavorful with lots of structure and beauty. Full body, bright and stony. Some fresh herb and stone undertone. Pine needle too. About 12% Semillon. Outstanding length. Loire inspired. Shannon Estate in most markets. Screw cap.
90 pts Stephen Tanzer/Vinous
2014 Downes Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Sanctuary Peak Very pale, bright yellow. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of lime, gooseberry, anise, white pepper and quinine, plus a suggestion of tropical fruits; reminded me of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. At once salty, juicy and dense; a bit closed in the middle, then opens out and builds on the finish. Suave, concentrated and adamantly dry; Sauvignon in an adult style. Distinctly dry and salty on the aftertaste. There’s no rush to consume this wine: I’d wait six months. (Note that these wines are labelled as Shannon Vineyards in South Africa.) — Stephen Tanzer 90
The grapes are chilled to 3ºC. 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 8ºC to encapture favourable skin flavours. After a gentle pressing, the juice left to settle for a period of 72 hours at 2ºC. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks continues at 12ºC until the wine is dry. The 11% blended Semillon is fermented on natural yeasts and matured for 3 months in 100% new French oak and bâtonnage (lees stirring) practised fortnightly.