From the California we make our way across the Pacific Ocean. Six thousand six hundred miles southwest of the Central Coast AVA lies New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Marlborough is on the south island and is home to some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blancs.
The vineyards of the Wairau River Winery, as the name suggests, lie on and around the Wairau River. The maritime climate makes for long, temperate growing seasons and the shallow, stony soils intensify the fruit flavors and mineral characteristics.
The style of this Sauvignon Blanc is quite different from the 2005 Tres Hermanas sampled last week (see Varietal Voyage No.1). This wine is pale yellow, almost colorless. What it lacks in color is made up for in the wonderful floral aromas and tropical fruit flavors. Slightly sweeter than the Tres Hermanas, its crisp acidity felt more balanced on the palette. The finish is short and clean leaving you with notes of pineapple. If this is any indicator, I can see why New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are so revered.
The next stop on our trip takes us to France. Stay tuned.
Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($14)
- 100% Sauvignon Blanc
- Marlborough, New Zealand
- Winery Fact Sheet