Domaine A Lady A Fumé Blanc 2005

“Oh my god!” said Mrs Cellar Fella when she took a sniff of this. After a quick sip, she proclaimed that it tasted of cheese. This is not her standard reaction to sauvignon blanc. But then, this is not a standard wine. Some wines, lots of ’em, are hard to find information about. Not this one. It’s all over the internet like teenage tourists on a Robert Pattinson waxwork.

It’s a new world sauvignon blanc unlike any other I’ve ever had, from a one-acre plot of vines in Tasmania, that gets plenty of lees contact during fermentation and then spends a year in French oak. You basically can’t buy a new world sauvignon that was harvested earlier than 2008. This one is five years old, and the Swiss bloke who made it says it could have another five and be all the better for it.

It doesn’t taste of cheese. But it doesn’t taste like sauvignon blanc. It doesn’t taste very oaky, but it is intensely buttery and creamy and, er, vanilla-ey. It smells like rotting apple peelings. You’re not sure if it’s pleasant or not, but it’s certainly redolent of something pleasant.

The flavour is complex and long and certainly good. It is a wine to savour and ponder. It is not a summer barbecue favourite. It isn’t an easy quaffer. I’m not really used to drinking white wines this complex. I’m enjoying it, but I’m confused by it.


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