The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Grandpa’s drop a savvy success

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New Zealand sauvignon blanc has not always enjoyed favourable press.

Critics spoke of aromas of cat’s pee on a tomato vine. I ruffled a few feathers a while back when I likened one el cheapo import to perfumed battery acid, and another to an alcoholic sherbet thirst-quencher.

You get what you pay for.

At its best New Zealand sauvignon blanc is stunning, pungently aromatic, with flavours running from gooseberry to cut grass, with passionfru­it, lime, grapefruit and tropical fruit overtones.

New Zealand’s clever winemakers are increasing the diversity of sauvignon blanc styles through the use of wild ferments, degrees of lees contact, as well as fermentati­on and/or ageing in oak barrels, both old and new.

New Zealand’s talented Giesen brothers Theo, Alex, and Marcel have released such a wine to honour their grandfathe­r or “Opa”. They even slapped an old picture of him on the label.

August Giesen (pronounced Awgoost) was born in 1888 in Germany and was a sommelier, restaurate­ur, hotelier, and all-round connoisseu­r.

Giesen August Marlboroug­h Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ($30) is a textural, barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc that pushes the boundaries. The grapes come from two vineyards. The Matthews Lane vineyard fruit adds rich ripe tropical notes, steely, wet pebble aromas and purity.

In contrast, the Dillons Point fruit adds herbal notes, richness and structure.

Wild yeasts add extra texture and build depth and length.

It’s a triumph for Duncan Shouler, Giesen chief winemaker.

Test your tastebuds by quaffing it alongside the easy-drinking Giesen Estate Marlboroug­h Sauvignon Blanc

2020 ($17).

 ??  ?? desmondhou­ghton1@ gmail.com
desmondhou­ghton1@ gmail.com

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