Savaterre Chardonnay 2022
Savaterre Chardonnay 2022

Savaterre Chardonnay 2022

Sale price$109.95
Beechworth, Victoria, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Savaterre Chardonnay 2022

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Savaterre

Country: Australia

Region: Beechworth

Vintage: 2022

Critic Score: 97

Alcohol: 13.3%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2038


It is the best chardonnay I have ever made. It was a stunning vintage. The result is incredible - Keppell Smith

"The astonishingly individual, beautifully concentrated and al-dente structured Chardonnay is one of my favourite Victorian Chardonnays. Keppel Smith wines are brilliant." Andrew Caillard MW 

The picturesque Savaterre vineyard sits across the road and in spitting distance from famed Beechworth producer Giaconda, on an elevated site 440m above sea level and takes in panoramic views across the King Valley. Like its illustrious neighbour, it produces one of Australia's greatest chardonnays. "The near-cinematic quality of this site is blindingly obvious. The potential of this place is limitless."  Australian Sommelier magazine

"Exceptional style and class through and through. A thrilling ride awaits with a deep dive into arresting aromas filled with white flowers, stone fruits, Meyer lemon, nougat, almond meal and spice. Floats dreamily on the plate, fine in texture, resonating in fruit and well-judged oak, creamy in texture, bright in energy and acidity."  Jeni Port

"The 2022 Chardonnay is the best chardonnay I have ever made. It was a stunning vintage. Warm days to ensure flavour ripeness followed by cool evenings to help retain acid. Rain at the right time to avoid disease and a long cool finish to the season to impart the subtle flavours we desire. I am so incredibly pleased and proud of this wine. Elegance, freshness, complexity, texture, plenitude and precision are the descriptors for this vintage. The result is incredible. I do not know where to start with this wine. It is such a complete and complex tapestry of aromas, flavours and texture. It’s the rare combination of power and amplitude combined with elegance, freshness, precision and tension. The aroma distracts you from your everyday thoughts. It grabs you and keeps your attention. A subtle flint framing ethereal aromas of ripe grapefruit, curry leaf, preserved lemon, ginger, stone fruit, allspice and fennel. Even as a young wine its potential is so obvious. Once tasted I am transported. This is a wine that takes you on a journey of power balanced with finesse, complexity and extraordinary length. Constantly evolving and changing. Beautifully defined by its markedly tensing acidity and length. Prodigious from the word go. While currently in the hot flush of youth, this wine will age beautifully for 20 years. If consuming under 5 years please decant for at least an hour for maximum enjoyment. Will continue to improve over the next 8 – 15 years." Keppell Smith, Savaterre

Expert reviews

"A little struck match and funk, pink grapefruit and pear, spicy oak, some ginger, floral perfume sitting quietly behind that, waiting to unfurl. Intense, fine flinty texture and chalky grip, it’s restrained, but the power through the palate, and the length is quite something. Sappy and alive. Here’s a Chardonnay of quiet power and finesse. It’s benchmark stuff. Drink: 2024-2033+."  Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 97 points

"Exceptional style and class through and through. A thrilling ride awaits with a deep dive into arresting aromas filled with white flowers, stone fruits, Meyer lemon, nougat, almond meal and spice. Floats dreamily on the plate, fine in texture, resonating in fruit and well-judged oak, creamy in texture, bright in energy and acidity. Drink by 2034."  Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion - 96 points 

"Damn this is reductive, demanding an aggressive decant, or an eagle eye in the cellar and plenty of patience. Yet the material lurking behind this flinty, terse carapace is thoroughly impressive: pithy stone fruits, anise, glazed quince and citrus marmalade. Thrilling levels of sheer extract, intensity and length, to boot. Trust me. WAIT! Drinkable now, but best from 2027. Screw cap."  Ned Goodwin MW, JamesSuckling.com - 96 points

About the winery 


Savaterre winery


The picturesque Savaterre vineyard lies nestled in the mountains of northeastern Victoria just outside the town of Beechworth. Situated across the road and in spitting distance from famed Beechworth producer Giaconda, it sits on an elevated site 440m above sea level and takes in panoramic views across the King Valley.

The site was purchased by Keppell Smith in 1996 after an extensive search across Australia’s wine regions. He believed the south facing slopes of the Beechworth hills, with their decomposing granite and clay soils, mild summer days and cool climate elevation, was the perfect 'terroir' to create great wines. He wondered why Beechworth, where such an icon of Australian wine in Giaconda was located, had so few vineyards. His take on his famous neighbour Rick Kinzbrunner was, "His was the first Australian wine with a European bent that I’d tasted – there was so much perfume, elegance, structure."

As to the Savaterre name, it is the name of Smith’s father’s property in Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, USA. A piece of 'low-lying swamp land', it is the complete antithesis to Keppell's Beechworth property!

Ex-policeman Keppell Smith spent a few years in the money markets before he decided to become a winemaker. During his search for the perfect vineyard, he worked with a number of key figures in the wine industry. Heavily influenced by his time with Phillip Jones at Bass Phillip, he promptly planted chardonnay and pinot noir at Savaterre. The vines were close planted at 7,500 vines per hectare, which allows the vine to carry a smaller crop and direct all its energies to producing intense flavours. The ancient granitic 'buckshot' soil is rich in minerals and provides excellent drainage, whilst the underlying decomposed clay provides water to the vines in summer. This ancient soil naturally limits the cropping level to less than 4.5 tons per hectare. Smith added shiraz on its own rootstock and planted at 8,000 vines per hectare to the vineyard in 2003. Today there are 8ha of chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and sagrantino on the 40ha Savaterre property.

Savaterre's first vintage was in 2000, just two barrels of chardonnay. The potential of the vineyard became obvious very early on and was named in the top 25 vineyards in Australia in 2006 by Australian Sommelier magazine: "This, it has to be said, is a spectacular vineyard with spectacular potential, and as the 2002 wines show, that potential is sheeting through with a clarity that is shattering. And it’s the vineyard that is doing it. The south-facing slope that fronts into the teeth of the Victorian Alps, the ancient rocky soils, the high altitude, the warm summers and the cold, cold nights. This is a dramatic landscape and the truth is that the wines are all about that: the vineyard was only planted in 1997, all chardonnay and pinot noir, but the near-cinematic quality of this site is already blindingly obvious. The potential of this place is limitless." 

Keppell looks more to the wines, winemaking and viticulture of the Old World as his inspiration, ranging from vineyard aspect through to the use of natural yeasts and the finest French barriques. His winemaking technique is a minimalistic, hands-off approach in the tradition of the fine wines of Burgundy. "It is all about the quality of the fruit from the fantastic site we have here at Savaterre. Minimal intervention and long, slow elevage in cool dark cellars are the cornerstones of our winemaking philosophy," he says.

In the winery Smith says he’s just babysitting, "I leave it alone, no yeast is added to the basket pressed juice. It is all up to wild yeast to start, maintain and finish the fermentation. I add sulphur, occasionally a little acid. The attention to detail is crucial; every 1% you muck up, it’s cumulative." The wines then undergo around 18 months ageing on the lees in custom-made French casks. The lees add a creaminess to the texture of the whites (they are not stirred) and for the reds he says, "lees really help the wood marry with the wine. It’s the gravy between the peas and the roast, the juice that brings it all together." The result is a range of wines with incredible purity, minerality and elegance.







Wine region map of Victoria

Victoria

Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.