In days gone by, on visits down south, these guys were a staple – if only for the Nooky Port, which if given as a gift would cause one’s friends to titter and wink and blush. At a more serious level the winery was renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc – trophies and gold medals adorn the walls of the cellar door, alongside a gazillion business cards pasted as wallpaper around the tasting room. And of course the Nookery Café was always worthy of a stop for a good/big feed. Well time's hurtled on and port’s a little out of fashion and, for many, the Woody Nook wines also fell out of fashion with the onslaught of new producers, new decades, and new tastes.
On a quick visit for lunch recently we hooked into a platter for two – lovingly ‘80’s in style – and a bottle of the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. Here’s what it looked like:
Opening with the struck match flintiness of a little sulphur, the nose turned more pleasantly to some lean minerality, cut grass, lavender and pungent herbs – lemongrass and sage. On the fruit side of things I picked out some banana passionfruit and rockmelon – greener tropical fruits generally – some lemon zest and lime leaf. Overall I kept coming back to a driving core of dried orange peel and a sense that the fruit was perhaps a little attenuated.
On first taste the palate tickled a tad with sherbetty acid before stretching out into paw-paw and passionfruit fruitiness, and that old perennial – tinned pineapple. Some good palate weight but I found a little too much coarseness again, flinty coarseness really, but it rounds out at the end and the length is good.
I kept swinging between like and ambivalent. In the end the good-guy in me won out over the picky, pedantic bad-guy and I’ll give this wine a moderate thumbs-up.
Value: $22 at cellar door. Fair enough.
Tasted: May 2011
Producer: Woody Nook Wines – www.woodynook.com.au – established in 1982 by the Gallagher family but now owned by Peter and Jane Bailey. Neil Gallagher remains as winemaker.
Region: Margaret River, Western Australia.
Site: 17 hectares in total, half of which is non-irrigated. No specific soil profile available, however this part of the region generally contains gravelly loams with underlying clay.
Vintage: Another superb year in the blessed west. Brilliant for whites with warm, dry conditions throughout summer.