Our big discovery – White Cabernet Sauvignon & Bronze Cabernet Sauvignon

FABULOUS LADIES WINE REVIEW: Cleggett Wines Shalistin White Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 & Sparkling Bronze Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 

Every now and then, no matter where a gal is on her wine journey, she can be surprised. That happened a week or two back when I opened my very first bottles of White Cabernet Sauvignon and Bronze Cabernet Sauvignon.

They may sound like a couple of mythical dragons, but the Bronze Malian and White Shalistin varieties of the traditionally red Cabernet Sauvignon grape are Australia’s very own indigenous grape varieties.

No, they haven’t been here since the Dreamtime, but they have developed thanks to a fluke of natural evolution and a bit of dreaming by Mac Cleggett and Anne McClennan on their vineyard in Langhorne Creek (just an hour out of Adelaide in South Australia).

Here’s the lowdown:

A chance discovery of pinky bronze grape on a Cabernet Sauvignon vine in 1977 provided Mac Cleggett the opportunity to propagate this single (cane) cutting at his Langhorne Creek vineyard. He gave this Bronze Cabernet Sauvigon grape the registered name of Malian.

Several years later (1991) through the same process of nature the White Cabernet Sauvignon grapes was identified and subsequently registered as Shalistin.

After years of careful propagation, Mac and Anne established Cleggett Wines in 2000 to launch the new varietals on the world market.

Tests have confirmed that Malian and Shalistin have the same DNA profile as the parent Cabernet Sauvignon. The White Cabernet Sauvignon is actually an albino cabernet grape while the Malian (bronze) grapes have a partial deletion of the anthocyanin (red/black colour).

What does it taste like?

The Shalistin is a very pale wine and the only way to describe it is with words like fresh, clean, soft and dry. But it’s also complex, thanks to those tricky Cabernet Sauvignon flavours sneaking their way through. It’s unlike any white wine I’ve drunk before and I LOVED it.

It was somewhere between a very dry Riesling and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris. Amazing. And such a steal at only $18 a bottle.

I tried the Malian as a Bronze Sparkling, and again, it was love at first sip. Fresh, crisp, strawberry flavours but dry and inviting, and very, very drinkable. Again, a bargain at just $16 a bottle.

Drink when

You are looking for something truly different to try, or you want to surprise a wine lover with something that will blow their mind.

Where can you get it?

Get yours now from www.cleggettwines.com.au or www.grapescape.com.au