Sauvignon Blanc Still Sings
|Marlborough New Zealand|
Very recently, one of Ireland's top wine writers admitted that he had been avoiding Sauvignon Blanc for a few years despite never really disliking the variety. But now he is back and enjoying one of the most popular of what are termed the “international” varieties.
Many of us, including myself, my motto being variety is the spice of life, regularly try the lesser known grapes. But it would be a mistake to totally ignore the internationals. By coincidence, I've been trying a few Sauvignon Blancs recently. Last summer, enjoyed some terrific ones in the Loire area but the three here are from Chile and New Zealand’s Marlborough (where the variety does particularly well).
First though, there was an example of why our aforementioned writer and indeed anyone with a wee bit of wine knowledge may be turned off and that bottle came as a gift that had been bought via a supermarket offer. It was a Chilean but had so little to offer, no discernible aromas, very little flavour, no finish worth talking about, that it was poured down the sink with some gusto.
Viento Monte, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Chile, 13%, €10.30 Karwig Wines
That Chile can produce decent Sauvignon Blanc and at a very good price is well known and indeed well illustrated by this bottle. It has a pale yellow colour with green highlights and an intense aroma of citrus, green apples and the typical (maybe a little less than normal) hint of grass. On the palate it is crisp and refreshing, quite a light mouthfeel and a very fresh finish. Recommended. I'm told their Chardonnay is also excellent. Must try that soon!
Greyrock Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2012, 12.5%, €13.80 Karwig Wines.
Greywacke is getting much attention recently but, for a tenner or so less, this Greyrock is well worth a try. By the way, they also produce a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc!
This 2012 still example is light gold, again with green tints and the nose has that fresh grassy element. On the palate, it is fresh and fruity with a mouthfeel that is both intense and lively, very refreshing,almost bubbly, and then a good dry finish. Highly Recommended.
Little Beauty Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2011, 13%, €18.99 Wine Alliance stockists
Sauvignon Blanc is the flagship grape of New Zealand, accounting for the majority of the harvest in Marlborough where it grows best. And this Little Beauty is one of its best!
Little Beauty’s Fleur McCree was at a tasting in Cork last year and told us that the different blocks around the vineyard ripen at different times yet the intense fruit is preserved and there is “a build-up of layers of flavour to enhance the experience. Mango, Passion fruit at the start followed by Citrusy flavours mid-palate and then basil at the back of the tongue”. Really top notch, distinctive (somewhat more refined than your usual SB from here), and Very Highly Recommended.
* Note that you are now more likely to find the 2012 version of Little Beauty in the shops.