Top 5 NZ Sauvignon Blancs

· Blog
Nov 10th, 2010 | By | Category: Blog

With just over a month to go till Christmas I have decided to compile the most impressive New Zealand wines I have tasted this year. Each week I will post a list of the in each category that I feel, not only go well with Christmas cheer but have been impressive each time I have tried them throughout 2010.

First up is Sauvignon Blanc. After all of the global criticism of this NZ wine, there are a number of producers that are still flying the flag of greatness.

Below are my top 5 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs from 2010:

Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough
Although not entirely Sauvignon Blanc, in fact 10% is Semillon, this wine demonstrates that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc still reigns supreme. Full of zest and grapefruit pith with an undertow of lime. The palate is full and of lush ripe fruit nailed by a fine texture and minerality.
The Semillon, and some of the Sauvignon Blanc, was almost all fermented in old oak barrels. Wild yeast played a part in the fermentation of the wine giving it another layer of complexity and interest.

Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Hawke’s bay
This wine tasted blind could be mistaken for being French. The aromas are not typical for New Zealand with a chalkiness and restrained zingy fruit, the focus has been on the palate weight, texture and acid balance. The delicate nature of this wine makes it an ideal accompaniment to shellfish and white fleshed fish.

Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Martinborough
Martinborough, an area more famed for Pinot Noir than Sauvignon Blanc, delivers Craggy Range’s Sauvignon Blanc. Yet another example of the difference a region can make on a wine. The aromatics are intense with a caramelised lemon and lime slice mixed with passionfruit and guava. The palate is full and has very fine chalk character underpinning the ripe textured fruit, and the wine lingers long after finishing.

Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008, Waipara
A youthful wine and made using the traditional Bordeaux varieties of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Semillon gives the wine a lemon and lime acidity whilst the rich flavours of the Sauvignon are allowed to shine. The aromas of Guava, paw paw, rose petal, and thyme translate perfectly for a complex palate.

Churton Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Another winery that releases their wine when it has had some in the bottle to settle down and develop. Churton only make 2 wines, this and a Pinot Noir, and the dedication to these 2 varieties show through in this wine. Full expression of Marlborough can be tested in this wine. The subtle tropical fruit salad is topped with shavings of slate. This wine will age gracefully over the next 5 or so years.

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Written by Jayson Bryant

Jayson’s roots in wine began when his father literally dragged him round France and injected his passion into him. From the age of 8 his family took month long holidays in France travelling through all regions and sampling their wine.
UnScrewed has reinvented the concept of wine tasting in New Zealand and along the way found a new and willing audience. In addition to encouraging straightforward wine tasting, Jayson educates viewers about the effects of regional factors (soil, sun, wind) on wine flavours, and how to buy wine.

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