As a fan of sous voile wines, I’ve been waiting for the release of this Crittenden Estate 2013 Cri de Coeur Savagnin for a while.
Sous voile or ‘under the veil’ refers to the ageing of wine in ullaged barrels, filled to around 80 per cent of their capacity and aged for extended periods of time. Over time, a ‘flor’ of yeast forms on the surface, providing partial protection from full oxidation, allowing the wine to oxidise gently with the associated captivating nutty, sherry-like characters that come with the process.
We’ll call this wine a ‘beautiful accident’. Rollo Crittenden planted Savagnin vines in the belief that they were the Spanish variety Albarino. The nursery buggered up and mixed up the cuttings but I’d say it turned out pretty well in the end.
This wine is a triumph. A few Australian winemakers have attempted the style but Crittenden Estate has absolutely nailed it. It smells beautiful and is head-spinningly complex with aromas of fino sherry, oyster shells, roasted nuts, almond paste, mustard powder, sea spray and garam marsala on a canvas of green apple and citrus fruits.
The palate is apple-like, sapid and saline with same characters of grilled nuts, gentle sherry notes, marzipan and curry leaves flowing through its veins. Crystalline purity and acid drive with beautiful poise, intensity and balance it is one of the most intriguing and captivating wines I’ve tried this year.
CRITTENDEN ESTATE 2013 Cri de Coeur Savagnin