Dylan Arvidson is turning out a compelling range of micro-batch wines from his Margaret River base. His 2021 Chenin Blanc is a dazzling result from a wet and cold vintage – a sure sign of a deft talent. Ample orchard fruits and citrus notes are accented with chalky minerality on the nose, with a textural, chewy and saline palate stretching long and detailed.
From a cool season, this sits at a modest 11.5% alcohol, but it certainly doesn’t lack for flavour, with notes of lemon pith and zest, coolly ripe white peach, custard apple and golden apples, hints of chalk and a leesy, almost beery complexity overlaying. That theme continues on the palate with ample but fine flavour cinched in with a gently chewy grip, fine acidity and a chalky, saline complexity that is loaded with interest.
Themes of this wine
Chenin blanc is responsible for some of the longest-lived whites in the world, largely from its spiritual home in the Loire Valley. While it has been very much a bit player in Australia over the years, a renewed interest is seeing exciting expressions of chenin entering the market, with many hailing from Western Australia.
If you’re after a wine region with a healthy dose of conspicuous glamour, then Margaret River has it all. Three hours south of Perth, ‘Margs’ is littered with iconic wineries, many with dazzling cellar doors and world-class restaurants. And then there’s the abundant sunshine, and the beaches – oh, those beaches… It’s a beautiful, beautiful place, and for a young wine region it’s very mature, with well-established paths to success built largely on the twin pillars of chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon (et al). Names like Cullen, Moss Wood, Woodlands, Leeuwin Estate and Vasse Felix feel like they’re etched in stone, but in the last little while, smaller players have been making their mark.