I had a surprisingly un-New Zealand-like Sauvignon Blanc at dinner the other night. NZ Sauvignon Blanc was at one time very exciting, bursting on to the UK wine scene back in the ’90s. Since then, however, it has suffered a glut of wine production and too many big companies cranking out mediocre wine to satisfy the consumers need for “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.”
Happily, the family-owned vineyard Urlar is now producing biodynamic and organic wine that gets back to the roots of NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Urlar means the “earth” in Gaelic and harks back to the roots of the Scottish couple, Angus and Davina Thomson who are fifth generation farmers with deep roots in the whiskey distilling business.
Angus and Davina are driven by economic and environmental sustainability and their wines are made using organic practices and biodynamic principles.
The resulting wine, the Urlar 2010 S.blanc – while it has gooseberry, passionfruit and lime on the nose and palate – has none of the “cat’s pee” that has been associated with NZ Sauvignon Blanc for too long and it has a textured quality to it with layers of fruit that seem to unfold on your palate. An added bonus was the the acidity was not overpowering (another unfortunate attribute of some NZ Sauvignon Blanc).
The wine was paired with a pork pie at the dinner I attended and it was a very good match, the fruit jumping out but not overpowering the pork.
Urlar is available from various independent wine merchants as well as the online retailer, DVine Wine.