What to drink this week
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
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
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.