We drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc nowadays. Not just the reviewers on Whitewine.co.uk: Brits, generally; The wine-drinking world, generally. It’s the grape of the moment – or it was last time I looked, which may well mean it’s very last week this week.
There is an enduring charm to this sharp and zesty grape though, which – once it’s got hold of you – is hard to shake off. And unlike Chardonnay, its predecessor as the darling of the white-wine-drinking world, it rarely relies on oak or anything but the grape itself to give it its powers. So when you drink a Sauvignon Blanc you usually know what you’re getting is the grape: the acidic, citrusy, sharp and refreshing grape.
Just as it has with Pinot Noir, New Zealand’s wine-heavy Marlborough region has made a real name for itself over recent decades by producing plentiful, characterful and rather fine Sauvignon Blanc wines. The wines are much more pronounced than a lot of Old World equivalents; a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – like this bottle from Allan Scott’s estate range – packs more of a punch than its European equivalent.
However, there’s room for a fair bit of variety within this one area of SB-production. Some wines are almost astringent in their green-pepper and lime fruit flavours; some are more herbaceous or mineral-rich.
The aromas of this wine were unusually pleasant for a Sauvignon, I thought. There was none of the iffy cat-pee edge that haunts even some very fine wines of this kind; there were touches of peppery salad leaves and parsley on a sweet tropical fruits. In the mouth these came alive as sour star fruits, nashi pears and gooseberries. The sharp acidity was nicely balanced with a juicy sweetness leaving a lingering taste that was pleasant and not too sour.
Allan Scott’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is available to buy – along with a host of other fine Sauvignons – for £9.99 from Fine Wines Direct UK.