Category Archives: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Nov 11 2011

Can you tell if a wine is any good just by tasting it? Impressions from a Craggy Range Tasting

Posted on November 11, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Have you ever been unimpressed with a wine on first taste, but then fallen in love with it over the course of a meal?

Well, according to a very interesting article by Decanter’s Andrew Jefford “digestibility is as much a hallmark of truly fine wine as is sensorial intricacy and harmony.” Jefford goes on to explain:

Twenty-five years of reading wine assessments, as well as providing assessments of my own, have convinced me that tasting without drinking is, in fact, a monstrous (if inevitable) flaw in all wine criticism. I’d like to see wine critics append a ‘D’ or a ‘*’ to any numeric score or tasting note for a wine which has been drunk rather than merely assessed by tasting. Any critic who claims that they have never had to adjust, after drinking, an initial assessment based on tasting alone is lying. (Jefford on Monday: Thinking about Tasting by Andrew Jefford, Decanter, 7 November 2011)

Jefford’s comments resonated with me when I attended a tasting last night of the Craggy Range lineup hosted by NZ Wine Online. The event was held at the Roof Top Bar of Coast, but the sun hadn’t set so I was hot and thirsty. Not the best state to be in when tasting wines! Fortunately the weather cooled and big plates of antipasto arrived in time to whet our appetites.

All the wines on show were excellent, but the Craggy Range Old Renwick Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (26.95) was definitely an example of a wine that opened up with food. I was initially perplexed by its unusually dry, stoney and mineral character, but over time its delicious lime and grapefruit flavours also shone through.

Initially struck by the dark rich purple red colour of the Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2009 (37.95), I was almost surprised by the wine’s subtle, complex flavours and tautly elegant structure. Aromas of bright ripe black fruits with gorgeous peppery notes were complemented by clear fruit flavours and fine-grained tannins… [Read More]

Mar 03 2011

Greystone Wines Sauvignon Blanc: A Waipara Valley Alternative to Marlborough

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Another region featured at the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class was Waipara Valley in Canterbury, just north of Christchurch and south of Marlborough. Waipara used to be famous for its Canterbury lamb, but in last 30 years it has become home to around 80 vineyards, and is now the fastest growing wine region in New Zealand.

The Waipara offering was the Greystone Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Greystone Wines is better known for the pure flavours of its riesling and pinot noir,.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2011

Giesen August Sauvignon Blanc: ‘Pushing the Boundaries for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In yesterday’s post, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class,  I mentioned how New Zealand winemakers were experimenting with exciting new ways to make the country’s standard bearer sauvignon blanc.

One of the highlights of the evening was the inaugural vintage of the Giesen August Sauvignon Blanc 2009. This handmade wine had a richness and complexity of aromas and flavours that set it apart from the other wines we tasted on the evening. It reminded many of us of the exciting new style of sauvignon blanc exemplified by the sublime Cloudy Bay Te Koko and the acclaimed Dog Point Section 94[Read More]

Mar 03 2011

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Last Friday NZ Wine Online hosted a Sauvignon Blanc Master Class at the Royal Automobile Club in Sydney. I always enjoy evenings when the winemakers are on hand to discuss the wine, so I listened with great interest to winemakers John Hancock from Trinity Hill of the North Island’s Hawkes Bay region and Glenn Thomas from Tupari Wines, which is situated in the Awatere Valley in Marlborough in the north of the South Island.

Of the nine wines we tasted that evening most were from the Marlborough region… [Read More]

Dec 12 2010

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Top Producers Create an Exciting Alternative Style!

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

A few years ago, I helped a friend, a superb amateur chef and wine connoisseur, prepare a gourmet charity dinner for ten. He chose the Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007 to complement his signature dish of roasted garlic prawns with a slow roasted giant gourmet cherry tomato.

Last Friday night, different friends also chose a New Zealand sauvignon blanc to complement another wonderful roasted prawn dish. This time the wine of choice was the Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2004 and it was served with roasted prawns in a delicious chilli and sauvignon blanc sauce –.. [Read More]