What to drink this week

New Zealand Sauvi­gnon Blanc

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

I must con­fess to an aver­sion to the blind­ingly ob­vi­ous. In se­lect­ing wines for this col­umn, I seek out sub­tlety and nu­ance. A cer­tain style of New Zealand Sauvi­gnon Blanc, pi­o­neered by Cloudy Bay and fea­tur­ing ex­trav­a­gant aro­mas of trop­i­cal fruit—pas­sion­fruit, above all—has, there­fore, not been at the top of my list of favourites.

It’s not as blind­ingly ob­vi­ous as it might sound, in­sists

Harry Eyres

Why you should be drink­ing them

In the past year or so, I’ve no­ticed that New Zealand Sauvi­gnon Blanc, in com­mon with other New World styles (Aussie Shi­raz is an­other), has been mov­ing in the ‘ter­roir and tex­ture’ di­rec­tion, away from over-ob­vi­ous va­ri­etal aro­mat­ics. I ap­plaud this move.

What to drink

Giesen Dil­lons Point Sauvi­gnon Blanc Marl­bor­ough 2015 (£9.39; www.waitrose.com) comes from the same neck of the woods as Cloudy Bay, but the re­sult is much more re­strained and Loire-like— it’s highly rec­om­mend­able. More in­di­vid­ual in style, with aro­mas of quince and a long, in­tense fin­ish is Ara Sin­gle Vine­yard Sauvi­gnon Blanc Marl­bor­ough 2015 (£10.59; www.waitrose.com). This vine­yard is sit­u­ated in one of the coolest parts of the Wairau Val­ley in Marl­bor­ough and is good value for the qual­ity. You need to head quite a bit fur­ther down the South Is­land to find Rip­pon Vine­yards in Cen­tral Otago, where the thought­ful Nick Mills makes ex­cep­tional Pinot Noir as well as Ries­ling and Sauvi­gnon Blanc. Rip­pon Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2015 (right, £19.50; www. leaand­sande­man.co.uk) takes re­straint to the limit, with fas­ci­nat­ing re­sults: none of the ob­vi­ous aro­mat­ics, but a beau­ti­ful, suave tex­ture, com­plex­ity and length. My sort of wine.

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