2014 Gapsted Wines Limited Release Petit Manseng

Where has this grape been hiding ? How come we haven't heard more of it ? If there was ever a variety that has flown under the radar in Australia, it is Petit Manseng. Considered an uncommon variety here, its major plantings are located in north-east Victoria and the Riverland regions with sundry other producers scattered throughout the mainland states.

Known for its intense flavours and natural acidity, Petit Manseng is a lesser known grape even in France from where it originates. This white variety flourishes and is highly regarded in the Jurançon AOC of south-west France, which interestingly was one of the first wine appellations to be declared in France.

History documents its existence since the mid-1500s and records that it holds an auspicious position in the history of La Belle France. The future King Henri IV (1553-1610) who was born in the town of Pau, was christened with the wine. It is a practice that continues with local baptisms to this day. Petit Manseng also grows in the Spanish Basque countryside over the border and in Uruguay where with the Tannat variety it arrived with French Basque immigrants in the 1820's.

Situated in Victoria's high country, awarding-winning Gapsted Wines source their grapes from the King and Alpine Valley, the winery having the distinction of pioneering the P M variety in Australia in the mid 1990's.

Their 2014 release is light copper with green tinges in colour.
Exotic aromatics of nectarine, lime sherbert, jasmine and cinnamon. Intense and perfumed and inviting.
Palate is a well-structured, light to medium on its feet and long. Peaches, honeysuckle, quince and pineapple all compete on the palate. Tangy, light chalky mouthfeel and fresh. Off dry with bright acidity through to a soft crisp finish of lemon and green apple. Not obviously sweet, the balance and definition provided by the natural acidity and light tannins. 

Captivating, sumptuous, delicious with little here to dislike. A wine of presence and high interest. Superb drinking now that would match a range of different cuisines well. Could also cellar for a few more years. A ripper. Move over Sauvignon Blanc, you're got more competition.

If this unique and underrated variety gets more traction here, Petit Manseng has the potential to be the next big white wine variety in coming years. 

Source: Sample. ABV: 12.9%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $25.00. Rating: 93 Points. 
Website: http://gapstedwines.com.au


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