Bang for buck from Si Vintners, Margaret River
Rob and Karen Gough of finger-on-the pulse watering hole Settlers Tavern in Margaret River introduced me to Sarah Morris and Iwo Jakimowicz of Si Vintners‘ in 2014. It was good to catch up with their entry level white and red at Les Caves de Pyrene’s recent Bang for Buck Tasting.
The winemaking couple bought a 30 acre estate in Rosa Glen, just south of Margaret River in 2010. While the vineyard was old for Margaret River (mostly planted in 1978) and featured regional classics Semillon and Cabernet, it was immediately apparent that their approach to growing and making wine was far from classic.
The vineyard is cultivated biodynamically and the wines are naturally fermented in a range of vessels with no adds save for minimal sulphur at bottling. And little taken away (they are unfined and unfiltered).
Si Vintners White 2015 (Margaret River)
A deep yellow 70:30 Semillon Chardonnay blend with a southern Margaret River pungent (curry powder?), herbal, smoky nose with tomato plant – an attractive under-ripe edge. In the mouth the Chardonnay gently fleshes out the firmer, uber-characterful Semillon. Lovely persistence on a mineral finish. Not a consensual wine, but much the better for it. The fruit was hand harvested, whole bunch pressed and naturally fermented in a mixture of concrete eggs, large format french oak and stainless steel. It remained on lees until just prior to bottling. £17.49 at AG Wines (2014 vintage), £79.50 for 6 bottles ex-VAT at Christopher Keiller.
Si Vintners Red 2015 (Margaret River)
A blend of basket-pressed Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec aged in concrete eggs/old barrels, which gives it a lovely hands off feel – a contrast with classic, more tailored pinstripe, polish and poise examples. It smacks of fruit just plucked off the tree – scented, ripe and juicy with palate-staining damson, plum and berry. Nonetheless, it has an elegant, easy balance and soft-grained, fruit-driven tannins. Fruit-driven but atheletic. £17.99 at AG Wines, £80.25 for 6 bottles ex-VAT at Christopher Keiller.
The wines are also sold retail by Les Caves.